DOI: 10.14704/nq.2012.10.1.519

Age-Related Changes In Female and Male Cerebral Volumes: A Study of Whole-Brain Tissue Using the Stereological Method

Remzi Yigiter, Erol Avşin, Atakan Yücel, Adem Kara, Nermin Yücel, Ünsal Aydınoğlu, İsmail Can, Mustafa Güleç, Samih Diyarbakır


The stereological techniques based on the Cavalieri methods are used in many studies to estimate volumes of anatomical structures in an unbiased fashion. This is a rapid, inexpensive approach that provides a correct volumetric calculation using magnetic resonance (MR) brain images. We investigated and age-sex-related volumetric changes in human brain using Cavalieri method. Three-dimensional MR imaging was obtained 120 healthy volunteers to 10 person from each age and gender-decade group. The Cavalieri method of modern design stereology was used to measure the cerebral volumes. To estimate this volume, the point counting approach was preferred. In our study, it was found that significant decreases in whole-brain volume (p<0.05) emerge progressively with increasing age. The most remarkable alteration was observed in older people’s brain volume. There was significant volumetric effect of gender on normalized brain volumes. Furthermore, both women and men showed statistically significant asymmetries in hemisphere volume. This quantitative volumetric study demonstrated a possible normal increase and then decrease in brain volume from age 0 to 60 years in healthy subjects. The differences in the brain sizes between the male and female subjects may be mainly attributable to the differences in total brain volume. A better understanding of this process may help to distinguish normal age-related alterations from neurodegenerative diseases.

NeuroQuantology | March 2012 | Volume 10 | Issue 1 | Page 132-139


Brain volume; Stereology, MR images; Age-sex-related volumetric changes; Developmental change

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