Today’s new findings show that:
- Maternal stress can reduce levels of a chemical in the placenta that influences many other functions, such as development in mice. Additionally, the chemical could serve as a biomarker for maternal stress, a known risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders like autism and schizophrenia
- Estrogen replacement therapy in post-menopausal women may help prevent stress-related memory loss
Other recent findings discussed show that:
- Tamoxifen, a drug used to treat breast cancer, may protect against cognitive loss in post-menopausal women
- Estrogens, commonly thought of as a female reproductive hormone, are produced in the brains of males and females. In songbirds, estrogen may help process auditory social cues in both sexes and visual cues in males
"Researchers are recognizing there are more differences between male and female biologies than originally thought," said press conference moderator Catherine Woolley of Northwestern University, an expert on hormones such as estrogen. "These new studies help to show how sex differences and the actions of hormones in the brain affect how we develop, respond to the environment, and how we age. Through understanding sex differences, we can improve the way biology informs medicine."
source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131111102512.htm