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Forschungsdatenbank PMU-SQQUID

Menstrual cycle and hormonal contraceptive use modulate human brain structure.
Pletzer, B; Kronbichler, M; Aichhorn, M; Bergmann, J; Ladurner, G; Kerschbaum, HH;
BRAIN RES. 2010; 1348: 55-62.
Originalarbeiten (Zeitschrift)


Bergmann Jürgen
Kronbichler Martin


Sex differences in human brain structure have repeatedly been described, but results are inconsistent. However, these studies hardly controlled for cycle phase of women or the use of hormonal contraceptives. Our study shows that these factors are not negligible, but have a considerable influence on human brain structure. We acquired high-resolution structural images from the brains of 14 men, 14 women, who did not use, and 14 women, who did use hormonal contraceptives. Women, who did not use hormonal contraceptives, were scanned twice, once during their early follicular and once during their mid-luteal cycle-phase. Regional gray matter volumes were compared by voxel-based morphometry. Men had larger hippocampi, parahippocampal and fusiform gyri, amygdalae and basal ganglia than women. Women showed larger gray matter volumes in the prefrontal cortex, pre- and postcentral gyri. These sex-dependent effects were modulated by menstrual cycle phases and hormonal contraceptives. We found larger volumes in the right fusiform/parahippocampal gyms during early follicular compared to mid-luteal cycle phase. Women using hormonal contraceptives showed significantly larger prefrontal cortices, pre- and postcentral gyri, parahippocampal and fusiform gyri and temporal regions, compared to women not using contraceptives. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)




Brain/drug effects*

Brain Mapping

Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal/administration*


Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal/pharmacology*



Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods


Menstrual Cycle/drug effects*

Sex Characteristics*

Young Adult

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)

Sexual dimorphism
Menstrual cycle
Voxel-based morphometry
Sex hormones
Gray matter volumes