Sex-specific changes in cerebral blood flow begin at puberty, Penn study finds

May 28, 2014 7:08 AM

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Sex-specific changes in cerebral blood flow begin at puberty, Penn study finds

PHILADELPHIA – Puberty is the defining process of adolescent development, beginning a cascade of changes throughout the body, including the brain. Penn Medicine researchers have discovered that cerebral blood flow (CBF) levels decreased similarly in males and females before puberty, but saw them diverge sharply in puberty, with levels increasing in females while decreasing further in males, which could give hints as to developing differences in behavior in men and women and sex-specific pre-dispositions to certain psychiatric disorders. Their findings are available in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

"These findings help us understand normal neurodevelopment and could be a step towards creating normal 'growth charts' for brain development in kids. These results also show what every parent knows: boys and girls grow differently. This applies to the brain as well," says Theodore D. Satterthwaite, ...

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