Menstrual Cycle Rewires Brain

Confirming what women have known for years, researchers have found that changes in hormone levels can have dramatic effects on the female brain. While the new findings lend weight to the old time-of-the-month cliché, they should also raise concerns about the effects that various hormonal treatments, such as the birth control pill, may have on the brain.

The findings – presented at the 2005 Society for Neuroscience Meeting – show that the “wiring” in the brains of female rats expands and contracts in relation to the amount of estrogen present during the menstrual cycle.

The area of the brain in question, the hippocampus, has been shown to be critical to both humans and animals for memory processes. The findings lend support to a huge amount of empirical and anecdotal evidence concerning variations in cognition and memory processes as a function of the female cycle.

The researchers – from Northwestern University and Columbia University – showed that this rewiring was due to estrogen by using hormone replacement therapy to compare females with low, moderate or high levels. It was only when the high physiological level was reached – similar to that seen during the peak of estrogen levels during the cycle – that the growth was observed.

Looking at the findings from an evolutionary viewpoint, the researchers suggest that the ability of the female brain to modify itself in the presence of increased estrogen may facilitate processing of complex spatial environments to enhance reproductive success, for example, selecting a mate or, as a mother, finding food, water and shelter while avoiding predators.

Researcher Aryeh Routtenberg said that the growth they observed resembled that seen during learning, but learning growth was a much slower process. “Beyond the findings relative to estrogen, and its regulation of female cognition, the results of the study suggest that the brain’s capacity for growth is well beyond anything we considered in the past.”

Source: Northwestern University

 

, , ,

Comments are closed.

What Hormones Magnet Funny Novelty Gift Shop Dead Stock NEW picture

What Hormones Magnet Funny Novelty Gift Shop Dead Stock NEW

$12.99



Oxytocin, the Hormone of Love Activation-Oxytocin, the Hormone of love-FW picture

Oxytocin, the Hormone of Love Activation-Oxytocin, the Hormone of love-FW

$20.14



Metal Sign - Runaway Hormones (1972) - Vintage Look picture

Metal Sign - Runaway Hormones (1972) - Vintage Look

$21.95



Maximum the Hormone T-shirt XL White Japanese rock band From JAPAN picture

Maximum the Hormone T-shirt XL White Japanese rock band From JAPAN

$77.00



1955 A Story About You Vintage Sexual Health Puberty Growing Up Hormones Booklet picture

1955 A Story About You Vintage Sexual Health Puberty Growing Up Hormones Booklet

$14.99



1951 Merck & Co Ad  3 Keys to better Health Antibiotics Vitamins Hormones picture

1951 Merck & Co Ad 3 Keys to better Health Antibiotics Vitamins Hormones

$2.25



Who Needs Hormones I Have Wine Metal Sign picture

Who Needs Hormones I Have Wine Metal Sign

$4.99



Force Virile Dragées Roses Pour Femmes (Hormones) French Paper Label NOS VGC picture

Force Virile Dragées Roses Pour Femmes (Hormones) French Paper Label NOS VGC

$8.99



Big Mouth CARTOON POSTER PHOTO FRIDGE MAGNET Maury Hormone monster. picture

Big Mouth CARTOON POSTER PHOTO FRIDGE MAGNET Maury Hormone monster.

$5.25



Maximum the Hormone T-shirt M black Japanese rock band Ningen Empi From JAPAN picture

Maximum the Hormone T-shirt M black Japanese rock band Ningen Empi From JAPAN

$66.00



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes