Differential reduction of gray matter volume with age in 35 cortical areas in men (more) and women (less)

It is known that brain volume decreases with age. Here, we assessed the rate of this decrease in gray matter volume of 35 cortical regions in a large sample of healthy participants (n = 712, age range 36-90 yr) of the Human Connectome Project-Aging. We evaluated the difference in this rate between men (n = 316) and women (n = 396) and found that the volumes of cortical areas decreased by an average of 5.25%/decade, with the highest rate of decrease observed in the rostral anterior cingulate cortex (7.28%/decade). The rate of decrease was higher in men than in women in general and in 30/35 (85.7%) areas in particular, involving most prominently the cingulate lobe. These findings could serve as a normative reference for clinical conditions that manifest with abnormal brain atrophy.