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Health

Pregnancy changes the brain in more ways than we knew

When Dr. Liz Chrastil was ready to begin in vitro fertilization, she realized that getting pregnant could also serve as a goldmine of data. THE Wall Street Journal chronicles the cognitive neuroscientist’s decision to enroll in a one-woman research study that resulted in groundbreaking insights into how pregnancy affects the brain. Working with neuroscientist Emily Jacobs of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the research involved MRI scanning Chrastil’s brain 26 times throughout her pregnancy, three weeks before conception, approximately every two weeks during portage, and periodic checks for two years. after childbirth. It turns out that the changes in Chrastil’s brain, detailed in a preprint on bioRxiv, were “profound,” writes Jo Craven McGinty in the Newspaper.

  • Shrinks: Gray matter decreased in volume and the cerebral cortex became thinner, leading to a decrease in total brain volume. Gray matter makes up the cortex and influences processes such as emotion, reasoning and language, the story explains.
  • But he gets stronger: During this time, the brain’s white matter, which transmits connections between brain cells, became stronger, a phenomenon never before observed.
  • Take away: “These findings are the first to reveal the dramatic changes that occur in a woman’s brain during pregnancy and suggest that the adult brain undergoes significant remodeling throughout life,” writes Craven McGinty. One theory is that the structure of a woman’s brain changes as the mother-to-be bonds with her child.
  • Following: Jacobs hopes to recruit more women to build a database of these changes. “I guess we’ll do this for the next 10 years,” she says.
  • Read the full story.

(Scientists think they know what causes morning sickness.)

News Source : www.newser.com
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