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Brain Sci. 2018, 8(8), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8080154

Sex: A Significant Risk Factor for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

1
Brain and Gender laboratory, Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
2
Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
3
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 8 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Differences in the Healthy and Diseased Brain)
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Abstract

Males and females sometimes significantly differ in their propensity to develop neurological disorders. Females suffer more from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, whereas males are more susceptible to deficits in the dopamine system including Parkinson’s disease (PD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. Despite this, biological sex is rarely considered when making treatment decisions in neurological disorders. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) underlying sex differences in the healthy and diseased brain will help to devise diagnostic and therapeutic strategies optimal for each sex. Thus, the aim of this review is to discuss the available evidence on sex differences in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders regarding prevalence, progression, symptoms and response to therapy. We also discuss the sex-related factors such as gonadal sex hormones and sex chromosome genes and how these might help to explain some of the clinically observed sex differences in these disorders. In particular, we highlight the emerging role of the Y-chromosome gene, SRY, in the male brain and its potential role as a male-specific risk factor for disorders such as PD, autism, and ADHD in many individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: brain sex differences; estrogen; testosterone; SRY; gender-specific medicine; ADHD; Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; autism; schizophrenia; depression brain sex differences; estrogen; testosterone; SRY; gender-specific medicine; ADHD; Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; autism; schizophrenia; depression
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Pinares-Garcia, P.; Stratikopoulos, M.; Zagato, A.; Loke, H.; Lee, J. Sex: A Significant Risk Factor for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders. Brain Sci. 2018, 8, 154.

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