Research Topic

Considering Biological Sex in Neurological Research

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The scientific community is increasingly recognizing differences between men and women in brain function and in the clinical manifestation of brain disorders. Sex differences have been reported in numerous neurological diseases regarding risk, disease trajectory, clinical severity and treatment outcomes. For ...

The scientific community is increasingly recognizing differences between men and women in brain function and in the clinical manifestation of brain disorders. Sex differences have been reported in numerous neurological diseases regarding risk, disease trajectory, clinical severity and treatment outcomes. For example, women are predominantly affected by Alzheimer’s disease and by autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and may show a more severe clinical profile, whereas Parkinson's disease and autism are more common in men. Despite this, the reasons for these sex differences are not well understood and biological sex is rarely considered when making treatment decisions in neurological disorders.

A better understanding of sex differences in neurological disease and the biological mechanism(s) underlying these differences can inform causal pathways of disease and therapeutic targets. As the field shifts towards personalized medicine, the understanding of sex differences in disease can advance the development of risk assessments and diagnostic and therapeutic strategies that are optimal for each sex. Thus, the aim of this issue is to address knowledge gaps in assessing sex and gender differences, highlight recent evidence on sex differences in neurological disorders, and investigate sex-related hormonal, genetic and sociocultural factors that may help to explain the sex differences in these disorders. Through this Research Topic, we strive to emphasize the importance of considering sex as a biological variable in study design as well as clinical care and treatment.

We are interested in original research, meta-analyses or systematic reviews covering the following topics:
- Sex differences in the prevalence, clinical manifestation and trajectory of neurological disease.
- Sex differences in the clinical care of neurological disease and treatment outcomes.
- Sex-specific biological and cultural factors that may contribute to clinically-observed sex differences in neurological disease.
- Preclinical studies illuminating mechanisms relevant to sex differences in neurological disorders.


Keywords: Sex, neurological disease, gonadal hormones


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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