Vulnerability to mental illnesses: gender makes a difference, and so does providing good psychiatric care.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.56). 03/2005; 162(2):211-3. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.162.2.211
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ABSTRACT: The behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and the behavioral activation system (BAS) are two fundamental motivational systems which are not only responsible for affective states, behavior and personality, but also related to predispositions for various forms of psychopathology. A wide range of previous studies revealed sex differences in both BIS/BAS and affective disorders (e.g., anxiety disorder) and externalizing disorders (e.g., addictive and impulsive behaviors), and a close link might exist between them. It remains to be clarified, however, whether the relationships between neuroanatomical characteristics and BIS/BAS exhibit sex differences. To investigate, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used to examine sex differences in the correlations between regional gray matter volume (rGMV) and scores on the Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS) scale in a large sample of healthy young adults (n=353). Results showed that females displayed a negative correlation between BIS sensitivity and rGMV in the parahippocampal gyrus (PHG), as well as positive correlations between BAS sensitivity and rGMV in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL), whereas males showed the opposite pattern. These findings suggest that the brain regions associated with processing of negative emotions (PHG) and reward-related information (vmPFC and IPL) may contribute to sex-related differences in rGMV correlates of BIS and BAS, respectively. The present findings demonstrated the evidence of sex-linked neuroanatomical background of BIS and BAS among non-clinical subjects and might encourage future research into the gender-specific relationships between BIS/BAS and related affective disorders and externalizing disorders.Behavioural Brain Research 08/2014; 274. DOI:10.1016/j.bbr.2014.08.041 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: While there has been increasing support for the existence of cerebral sex differences, the mechanisms underlying these differences are unclear. Based on animal data, it has long been believed that sexual differentiation of the brain is primarily linked to organizational effects of fetal testosterone. This view is, however, in question as more recent data show the presence of sex differences before the onset of testosterone production. The present study focuses on the impact that sex chromosomes might have on these differences. Utilizing the inherent differences in sex and X-chromosome dosage among XXY males, XY males, and XX females, comparative voxel-based morphometry was conducted using sex hormones and sex chromosomes as covariates. Sex differences in the cerebellar and precentral gray matter volumes (GMV) were found to be related to X-chromosome dosage, whereas sex differences in the amygdala, the parahippocamus, and the occipital cortex were linked to testosterone levels. An increased number of sex chromosomes was associated with reduced GMV in the amygdala, caudate, and the temporal and insular cortices, with increased parietal GMV and reduced frontotemporal white matter volume. No selective, testosterone independent, effect of the Y-chromosome was detected. Based on these observations, it was hypothesized that programming of the motor cortex and parts of cerebellum is mediated by processes linked to X-escapee genes, which do not have Y-chromosome homologs, and that programming of certain limbic structures involves testosterone and X-chromosome escapee genes with Y-homologs.Cerebral Cortex 08/2012; DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhs222 · 8.31 Impact Factor
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