Home Science This pill can change the shape of brain, new study suggests

This pill can change the shape of brain, new study suggests

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The synthetic steroids delivered by the
female contraceptive pill is able to shrink certain specific regions of the female brain
and could also be changing their function, new research suggests.
Neuroscientists from the University of California, Los Angeles in the United States capture brain scans of 90 women who were either currently using the pill
or not and they observed that two key brain regions were thinner in pill users –
the lateral orbitofrontal cortex and the posterior cingulate cortex.
These two regions stated above are involved in emotion regulation, decision-making
and reward response, and the scientists believe that their findings
could help explain why some women become anxious or depressed when
taking the contraceptive pill.
“Some women experience negative emotional side effects from taking oral
contraceptive pills, although the scientific findings investigating that
have been mixed,” lead author of the study, Nicole Petersen, told The Huffington Post.
“So it’s possible that this change in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex
may be related to the emotional changes that some women experience when
using birth control pills.”
However, it’s very important point that the research is just in the early
stages. They also have not studied
whether the effects are permanent or temporary.

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They published their research in the journal Human Brain Mapping, According to them:
“Further investigations are needed to determine if cortical thinning in
these regions are associated with behavioural changes, and also to
identify whether [pill] use is causally or only indirectly related to
these changes in brain morphology.”
Don’t worry, if the pill doesn’t able to shrink the brain regions in certain women,
there’s no evidence that this is dangerous. But it’s definitely cause
for more research.

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