Birth Control Pills may be Shrinking Part of the Brain
A new study being presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) has found that women who take birth control pills have significantly smaller hypothalmus volume. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that produces hormones and helps regulate essential bodily functions including body temperature, mood, appetite, sex drive, sleep cycles and heart rate.
“There is a lack of research on the effects of oral contraceptives on this small but essential part of the living human brain,” said Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., FACR, professor of radiology at the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
“We validated methods for assessing the volume of the hypothalamus and confirm, for the first time, that current oral contraceptive pill usage is associated with smaller hypothalamic volume.”
The researchers also had a preliminary finding that found the smaller volume of the hypothalmus also was associated with increased anger and a strong correlation with depressive symptoms.
“We found a dramatic difference in the size of the brain structures between women who were taking oral contraceptives and those who were not,” Dr. Lipton said. “This initial study shows a strong association and should motivate further investigation into the effects of oral contraceptives on brain structure and their potential impact on brain function.”
This appears to be another example of a serious unintended consequence of artificially altering the bodies complicated hormonal system.
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