An issue whose time has come: Sex/gender influences on nervous system function

Following decades of clinical research largely excluding females, scientists are finding that there are large differences in men and women that go well beyond their reproductive systems. Now, the Journal of Neuroscience Research is dedicating an issue entirely to sex differences at all levels of the brain, from the genetic and epigenetic level, to the synaptic, cellular, and systems levels. In one study in the issue, researchers examined how variants in the gene that codes for a protein called galanin might influence susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) in males compared with females. Recent studies have found elevated levels of this protein in post-mortem brain samples of patients with MS. In this latest work, investigators compared the frequencies of “more active” and “less active” variants of the DNA sequences that control…


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