Publication
Title
Regional gray matter volume differences and sex-hormone correlations as a function of menstrual cycle phase and hormonal contraceptives use
Author
Abstract
During the menstrual cycle, hormone-driven functional and morphological changes occur in the female brain. The influence of hormonal contraceptives on these changes has received only little attention in the medical literature. The purpose of our study is to measure regional gray matter volume changes as a function of the cycle phase and use of hormonal contraceptives, in relation to blood concentrations of sex hormones. We performed a prospective study in 30 healthy young women; 15 women had a natural menstrual cycle and 15 were using monophasic combined hormonal contraceptives. MRI examinations were acquired at 2 specific time-points in the cycle (follicular and luteal phase). MRI studies included a T1-weighted, isotropic, high-resolution 3-D gradient echo acquisition, for the purpose of performing voxel based morphometry. Peripheral venous blood samples were obtained to determine concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and progesterone. We found a highly significant negative correlation of regional gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex with estradiol concentrations. To the best of our knowledge, this result has not been described before, and was only present in the natural cycle group, not in women using hormonal contraceptives. The anterior cingulate cortex is involved in emotion processing and there is literature describing behavioral alternations with changing hormone levels. Our findings provide a structural, morphological basis to support these data. Therefore, we advise neuroscientists to take into account the menstrual cycle phase and use of hormonal contraceptives, in order to avoid obtaining heterogeneous data sets, leading to a significant loss of accuracy and precision.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Brain research. - Amsterdam
Publication
Amsterdam : 2013
ISSN
0921-8246
0006-8993
Volume/pages
1530(2013), p. 22-31
ISI
000324972000003
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Full text (publishers version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 03.09.2013
Last edited 21.05.2017
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