Pregnancy brings lasting changes to brain

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Pregnancy brings lasting changes to brain

Posted: 05/26/2015 07:11 PM IST
Pregnancy brings lasting changes to brain

The research conducted by Dr. Liisa Galea, at the University of British Columbia, showed that previous motherhood alters cognition and neuroplasticity in response to hormone therapy. The research findings were presented at the 9th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting.

The researchers investigated whether the different forms of the hormone estrogens could have different effects on rats that had experienced motherhood once and on those who had not. There are three forms of estrogens: estradiol, estrone and estriol. They found that estrone-based HT improved learning in middle-aged rats who had not experienced motherhood, but impaired learning in rats of the same age who experience motherhood.

The study explained that that estradiol-based hormone therapy may have more beneficial effects, while estrone-based therapy may have more detrimental effect on cognition and dementia risk in women.

Lead author Dr. Liisa concluded that hormones have a profound impact on minds and pregnancy is a life-changing event, resulting in marked alterations in the psychology and physiology of a woman, so these factors should be taken into account when treating brain disorders in women.

By Lizitha

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