Pregnancy Changes the brain, study finds
Pregnancy affects not only a woman body, but changes part of her brain, too, a study has found.
When researchers compared brain scans of women before and after pregnancy, they saw differences in 11 locations. They also found hints that the alterations help women prepare for motherhood.
For example, the changes might help a woman understand the needs of her infant, said Elseline Hoekzema, a study author at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
The women were also given memory tests and showed no signs of decline.
Hoekzema, a neuroscientist, began working on the study while at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. She and colleagues presented the results in a paper published on Monday in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
The study includes data on 25 Spanish women scanned before and after their first pregnancies, along with 20 women who were not pregnant during the study. The brain changes in the pregnancy group emerged through comparisons of the two groups.
The researchers think the brain changes occurred during pregnancy rather than after childbirth.
Hoekzema and colleagues think the differences result from sex hormones that flood the brain of a pregnant woman.
Source: Associated Press in New York 21st December 2016