How becoming a mother can boost your brainpower

09:34 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Many new mothers battling with tiredness and struggling to carry out the simplest of tasks would beg to differ. 

But according to scientists, giving birth supercharges brain power to equip women for the challenge of rearing their child. 

Having a baby produces a sudden surge of memory and learning ability that makes them more vigilant and alert, a study concluded. 

And the changes in the size and shape of many areas of the brain last for decades, protecting against degenerative diseases later in life. 

Researchers found there was often a decline in mental powers during pregnancy as the minds of mothers-to-be are remodelled. 

But hormonal fluctuations during birth and breastfeeding increase the size of cells in some areas of the brain leading to dramatic improvements in mental capacity. 

Studies on animals including rats and primates found mothers become much braver, are up to five times faster at finding food and have better spatial awareness than those without offspring. 

Craig Kinsley, professor of neuroscience at the University of Richmond, Virginia, said he believed the same results applied to humans. 'Pregnant women do undergo a phase of so-called baby brain, when they experience an apparent loss of function,' he said. 

'However, this is because their brains are being remodelled for motherhood to cope with the many new demands they will experience. 

'Many benefits seem to emerge from motherhood, as the maternal brain rises to the reproductive challenge. When the going gets tough, the brain gets going. 

'The changes could last for the rest of their lives, bolstering cognitive abilities and protecting them against degenerative diseases.' 

A 2002 study by Angela Oatridge, from Hammersmith Hospital in London, reported that brain scans of pregnant women showed a 4 per cent decline in size.

Last year, two Australian researchers found that pregnant women consistently performed worse on tests for memory and verbal skills. 

But Dr Kinsley believes this is because they are growing new sets of brain cells that he calls 'maternal circuits'. 

Nerve cells in areas known to be linked to parenting also expand and develop more connections with neighbouring cells during pregnancy to give mothers supercharged 'computing' power, he said. 

He added: 'Although most studies have so far focused on animals, it is likely women also gain long-lasting benefits from motherhood. Most mammals share similar maternal behaviours controlled by the same brain regions.' 

Another study by the University of Toronto has found rats that had given birth were protected against degenerative diseases, with lower levels of a protein linked with Alzheimer's disease in humans.  continues here

Related Posts by Categories

Post a comment on AAWR

0 Responses to "How becoming a mother can boost your brainpower"

Post a Comment

We welcome contributions from all sides of the debate, at AAWR comment is free, AAWR may edit and/or delete your comments if abusive, threatening, illegal or libellous according to our understanding of, no emails will be published. Your comments may be published on other nationalist media sites worldwide.