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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Connection between the level of estrogen and the hippocampus in women

"Although it has already been known for some time that the brain does not remain rigid in its structure even in adulthood, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences made a surprising discovery: The brain is not only able to adapt to changing conditions in long-term processes, but it can do this every month. The researchers observed that in women, in parallel to the rhythm of the level of estrogen across their menstrual cycle, the structures of the hippocampus vary—a brain area that is crucial for memories, mood and emotions."
Whether these observations are also valid for humans has to be proven in further studies. After testing the results of this first pilot study on the connection between the level of estrogen and the hippocampus in a larger group of study participants, the researchers will scrutinise the effects on the behaviour. "If it appears, for instance, that women in certain phases of their cycle are particularly receptive, these women could undergo therapy", she explains. This could take place at a specific time point when a woman is in a position to do so."