O'Gorman, Ruth L.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Sex differences in the brain appear to play an important role in the prevalence and progression of various neuropsychiatric disorders, but to date little is known about the cerebral mechanisms underlying these differences. One widely reported finding is that women demonstrate higher cerebral perfusion than men, but the underlying cause of this difference in perfusion is not known. This study investigated the putative role of steroid hormones such as oestradiol, testosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) as underlying factors influencing cerebral perfusion. We acquired arterial spin labelling perfusion images of 36 healthy adult subjects (16 men, 20 women). Analyses on average whole brain perfusion levels included a multiple regression analysis to test for the relative impact of each hormone on the global perfusion. Additionally, voxel-based analyses were performed to investigate the sex difference in regional perfusion as well as the correlations between local perfusion and serum oestradiol, testosterone, and DHEAS concentrations. Our results replicated the known sex difference in perfusion, with women showing significantly higher global and regional perfusion. For the global perfusion, DHEAS was the only significant predictor amongst the steroid hormones, showing a strong negative correlation with cerebral perfusion. The voxel-based analyses revealed modest sex-dependent correlations between local perfusion and testosterone, in addition to a strong modulatory effect of DHEAS in cortical, subcortical, and cerebellar regions. We conclude that DHEAS in particular may play an important role as an underlying factor driving the difference in cerebral perfusion between men and women Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science
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