Estrogen Levels Affect Brain Function, Study Shows

Higher estrogen levels negatively affect brain function in women

Hormones may affect concentration and feeling sluggish in women, a new study published in the Brain and Cognition journal explains. Higher estrogen levels may be related to the inability to pay attention or learn.

Researchers understand how important estrogen is at affecting learning and memory, but a clear link has not been proven. New studies analyzing female rodents, however, conclude higher estrogen levels negatively affect cognitive ability.

During ovulation, human females have elevated estrogen levels which have been known to affect the ability to pay attention.

Conducting research on rodents allows experts to analyze real contributors in outcome without experiencing many difficulties.

This study used a kind of learning called latent inhibition. This method allows individuals to interact with the environment as a functional test for new memory.

For the study, rats were exposed to a tone and no consequence existed. After becoming used to the tone and ignoring it, an effect was linked with the tone. Rats having low estrogen levels learned rather quickly about the new effect while rats with high estrogen levels did not make the connection as quickly.

This study only involved adult female rats, but proved estrogen does have some effect on the brain.

Researchers explain the new need to understand how this occurs, especially in human females.