Pregnancy and adolescence entail similar neuroanatomical adaptations: A comparative analysis of cerebral morphometric changes Articles uri icon

authors

  • CARMONA, SUSANNA
  • MARTINEZ GARCIA, MAGDALENA
  • PATERNINA DIE, MARIA DEL CARMEN
  • BARBA MULLER, ERIKA
  • WIERENGA, LARA M.
  • ALEMAN GOMEZ, YASSER
  • PRETUS, CLARA
  • MARCOS VIDAL, LUIS
  • BEUMALA, LAURA
  • CORTIZO, ROMINA
  • POZZOBON, CRISTINA
  • PICADO, MARISOL
  • LUCCO, FLORENCIO
  • GARCÍA GARCÍA, DAVID
  • SOLIVA, JUAN CARLOS
  • TOBENA, ADOLF
  • PEPER, JISKA S.
  • CRONE, EVELINE A.
  • BALLESTEROS, AGUSTIN
  • VILARROYA, ÓSCAR
  • DESCO MENENDEZ, MANUEL
  • HOEKZEMA, ELSELINE

publication date

  • May 2019

start page

  • 2143

end page

  • 2152

issue

  • 7

volume

  • 40

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1065-9471

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0193

abstract

  • Mapping the impact of pregnancy on the human brain is essential for understanding the neurobiology of maternal caregiving. Recently, we found that pregnancy leads to a long-lasting reduction in cerebral gray matter volume. However, the morphometric features behind the volumetric reductions remain unexplored. Furthermore, the similarity between these reductions and those occurring during adolescence, another hormonally similar transitional period of life, still needs to be investigated. Here, we used surface-based methods to analyze the longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging data of a group of 25 first-time mothers (before and after pregnancy) and compare them to those of a group of 25 female adolescents (during 2 years of pubertal development). For both first-time mothers and adolescent girls, a monthly rate of volumetric reductions of 0.09 mm(3) was observed. In both cases, these reductions were accompanied by decreases in cortical thickness, surface area, local gyrification index, sulcal depth, and sulcal length, as well as increases in sulcal width. In fact, the changes associated with pregnancy did not differ from those that characterize the transition during adolescence in any of these measures. Our findings are consistent with the notion that the brain morphometric changes associated with pregnancy and adolescence reflect similar hormonally primed biological processes.

keywords

  • adolescence; cortex; hormones; mri; neuroanatomy; plasticity; pregnancy; structural brain-development; cortical thickness; longitudinal changes; surface-area; maternal-behavior; neural circuits; plasticity; hormones; puberty; women