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Conduct Disorder: Gender Differences Identified

A recent study at Bath University of 200 teenagers has revealed interesting gender differences between teenage males and females with Conduct Disorder. In the largest study of its kind, They show that the brain's prefrontal cortex -- the region responsible for long-term planning, decision-making, and impulse control -- is thinner in boys and girls with CD compared to typically-developing boys and girls, and that young people with more severe forms of the condition have more abnormal brain structure.It also shows that specific areas of the brain differ in structure between boys and girls with antisocial behaviour -- for example, some brain areas showed lower cortical thickness in boys with CD, but higher thickness in girls with CD. This highlights, for the first time, that there may be sex differences in the brain-based causes of CD. To read a review of the study click here.

This might suggest that the causes are different between the two groups. More recent studies have suggested that epigenetic factors may be responsible. Epigenetics refers to how environments can switch gene actions on and off. For further reading click here and here.

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