Pregnancy: How motherhood changes women's brains forever (VIDEO)

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Motherhood changes women's brains forever. During pregnancy, a real transformation takes place that modifies the response of the female organism to hormones. The cause is to be found in estrogen.

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Motherhood changes the brain of the women forever. In pregnancy a real transformation takes place that modifies the response of the female organism to hormones. The cause would be to be found in the estrogen.

La new research on the subject was conducted by the researchers of the British Columbia University and was presented on the occasion ofAnnual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting under the coordination of Liisa Galea. Experts are studying the effects of hormones on women's bodies and in particular on the brain during pregnancy.

The researchers began their studies with the intention of finding out whether hormone therapy administered in menopause led to an increase or a decrease in Alzheimer's risk. But continuing with the research they also drew other conclusions: during pregnancy the expectant mother's brain will change forever due to the hormonal storm caused by estrogen.

- estrogen, female sex hormones, reach a real peak in pregnancy and this can act on central nervous system future mothers and in particular on the development of some of its areas.

In the new study, the experts focused onestrone, a hormone more present in menopausal women than in young women, in whose body another female hormone predominates, theestradiol. Oestrone could be beneficial in hormone replacement therapy especially for women who have not had a pregnancy, with the aim of preventing the risk of Alzheimer's.

Researchers think that the results obtained so far in the laboratory can easily be applied to the human organism as well. They will therefore continue to studyaction of estrogen in pregnancy, which are present at levels one hundred times higher than normal in the body of expectant mothers.

Specifically, the estrogen surge in pregnancy would be capable of alter the regrowth of nerve cells in the hippocampus, Home of the the memory and orientation. Both oestradiol and oestrone are involved in the production of new cells in the hippocampus, but it would be oestradiol that has a more positive effect on the hippocampus. Therefore, future scientific studies will be oriented precisely in this direction to better understand the action of hormones on the brain and nervous system in women during and after pregnancy.

Marta Albè

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