Mothers often lament that having children has affected their brains, and it turns out that they could be right.
Scientists working at the University of British Columbia have found evidence that suggests hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy and birth can have long-term effects.
The matter specifically researched by the team is how the brain reacts to hormone treatments later in life.
As subjects they used rats, noting which ones had birthed offspring and which ones had remained childless. All of them, despite parental status, were injected with forms of estrogen commonly used to treat humans for both brain disorders and matters related to menopause.
The rats were then subjected to tests aimed at discerning their learning ability levels. The researchers found that among the rats injected with an estrone-based treatment the mothers had a much tougher time with cognition.
On the other hand, the ones without children actually showed improved performance.
It was concluded that motherhood does, in fact, have a lasting impact on brain function and not just in rats. Humans, they said, are likely to experience similar results as their hormones and brain cells are much like those of the subjects.
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