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Neuroradiology. 1998 Dec;40(12):788-92.

Sex differences in morphology of the brain stem and cerebellum with normal ageing.

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Internal Medicine III, Shimane Medical University, Izumo, Japan.


The cerebral hemispheres become atrophic with age. The sex of the individual may affect this process. There are few studies of the effects of age and sex on the brain stem and cerebellum. We used MRI morphometry to study changes in these structures in 152 normal subjects over 40 years of age. In the linear measurements, men showed significant age-associated atrophy in the tegmentum and pretectum of the midbrain and the base of the pons. In women, only the pretectum of the midbrain showed significant ageing effects after the age of 50 years, and thereafter remained rather constant. Only men had significant age-associated reduction in area of the cerebellar vermis area after the age of 70 years. Both men and women showed supratentorial brain atrophy that progressed by decades. There were significant correlations between supratentorial brain atrophy and the diameter of the ventral midbrain, pretectum, and base of the pons in men, and between brain atrophy and the diameter of the fourth ventricle in women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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