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Gender Differences in Brain-Heart Connection

  • Caterina TrevisanEmail author
  • Giuseppe Sergi
  • Stefania Maggi
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The brain-heart connection is characterized by sex- and gender-related differences that tend to modify over an individual’s lifetime, thus in relation to age. However, since the need for a gender-specific approach has had growing attention only in the latest years, this issue has not yet been fully elucidated. The knowledge gap is especially marked for pathologies that have historically been considered pertaining mostly to men, e.g., cardiovascular diseases, or to women, e.g., neuropsychiatric conditions, and it is even more pronounced with regard to the relationship that exists between these dysfunctions. This chapter will present an overview of the current evidence on the sex- and gender-related aspects that could influence the brain-heart connection and the possible effect of aging on such features. Sex- and gender-related aspects will, in particular, be evaluated in regard to (1) individual vulnerability and the risk factor patterns associated with the development and co-occurrence of cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric pathologies; (2) the mechanisms by which the nervous and cardiovascular systems interact with one another; (3) the bidirectional connection between neuropsychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases; and (4) the disparities in how cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric conditions are recognized and treated that can affect the course and the co-occurrence of these diseases.

Keywords

Cardiovascular diseases Neuropsychiatric disorders Gender Sex Aging 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caterina Trevisan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giuseppe Sergi
    • 1
  • Stefania Maggi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medicine (DIMED), Geriatrics DivisionUniversity of PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.National Research Council, Neuroscience InstitutePadovaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Niccolò Marchionni
    • 1
  • Enrico Mossello
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e ClinicaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e ClinicaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFlorenceItaly

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