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The maternal brain: Region‐specific patterns of brain aging are traceable decades after childbirth

De Lange, A-MG; Barth, C; Kaufmann, T; Anatürk, M; Suri, S; Ebmeier, KP; Westlye, LT; (2020) The maternal brain: Region‐specific patterns of brain aging are traceable decades after childbirth. Human Brain Mapping , 41 (16) pp. 4718-4729. 10.1002/hbm.25152. Green open access

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Abstract

Pregnancy involves maternal brain adaptations, but little is known about how parity influences women's brain aging trajectories later in life. In this study, we replicated previous findings showing less apparent brain aging in women with a history of childbirths, and identified regional brain aging patterns linked to parity in 19,787 middle‐ and older‐aged women. Using novel applications of brain‐age prediction methods, we found that a higher number of previous childbirths were linked to less apparent brain aging in striatal and limbic regions. The strongest effect was found in the accumbens—a key region in the mesolimbic reward system, which plays an important role in maternal behavior. While only prospective longitudinal studies would be conclusive, our findings indicate that subcortical brain modulations during pregnancy and postpartum may be traceable decades after childbirth.

Type: Article
Title: The maternal brain: Region‐specific patterns of brain aging are traceable decades after childbirth
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25152
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.25152
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: brain‐age prediction, maternal brain aging, neuroimaging, parity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117921
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