The Difference in the Way the Women's and Men's Brain Age
You might be used to hearing that women tend to mature earlier and more easily. What you may not realize, however, is that this isn't in fact an old wives’ tale, but rather a physical and scientific fact that has a lot more of an impact than what meets the eye.
The human brain is very identical for both males and females. There are structural differences, though, even if not big enough to make the brains of men and women distinct entities. However, studies and tests have shown that women manage to perform better in certain tasks than men of the same age. While there isn't sufficient research available to back up any theories, the findings of such studies prompt the debate on the possibility that the women's brain ages differently than the men's.
An October 2016 study found that while the brains age rather equally, women perform better in verbal memory tests and those that are related to language. This can work against them though, because it masks the earlier symptoms of Alzheimer's and dementia, thus causing women to be diagnosed at later stages.
Another study also published in 2016 found that women's brains shrink faster than men’s, both during middle age and as seniors. It is unclear why this happens or how the bigger percentage of brain tissue loss affects the function of women’s brains.
On a brighter note, women's two brain hemispheres have been found to communicate better than those of men. This apparently remains true as ladies age.
MRIs show that male and female brains shrink in different regions. While men lose volume in the frontal and temporal lobes, which affect emotions, cognition and personality, women’s brains shrinks mainly in the hippocampus and the parietal lobe, affecting memory, spatial and visual perception, and language. This data is quite interesting, given the information about women’s verbal memory advantage.
Women have a higher propensity for Alzheimer's disease, while men are more likely to develop Parkinson's. Doctors speculate that the aforementioned differences in the shrinking of the brain may explain why this happens.
Menopause wrecks a woman’s brain as well, taking away the memory advantage that women have over men. It is unclear how or why that happens, but studies as well as empirical observation clearly suggest that the sudden drop in estrogen is responsible for leveling the mental playing field between men and women.
To sum up, women retain their memory better than men as they age, but they lose more of their brain mass. Both brain types shrink in different parts, possibly causing a higher propensity for certain diseases. Women lose their advantages completely at menopause when estrogen drops dramatically making their brain performance consistent with that of men of the same age.