A study directed by researchers from the UAB and IMIM are the first to reveal how pregnancy causes long-lasting alterations in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother’s ability to protect and interact with the child. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience.
Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, but the effects on the brain are still unknown. In this study a team of researchers compared the structure of the brain of women before and after their first pregnancy. This is the first research to show that pregnancy involves long-lasting changes – at least for two years post-partum – in the morphology of a woman's brain.
Using magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists have been able to show that the brains of women who have undergone a first pregnancy present significant reductions in grey matter in regions associated with social cognition.
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