Hormones

Seasons of Our Hormones

Weizmann Institute scientists analyzed around six million blood tests to obtain data on several types of hormones, discovering that some peak in winter/spring and others in summer. Peaks in stress or reproductive hormones may have “evolved to help us cope with seasonal changes in our surrounding environment.”

HORMONE DIFFERENCES

During birth, hormones in the body surge in both mother and baby, sent along by the nervous system. These stress hormones are there to spur delivery and to help a baby adapt to living outside the womb. A new study finds how one is born can have an effect on the amount of stress hormones released at the time of delivery. For example, vaginal delivery had the highest presence of birth signaling hormones.

Why Do More Women Have Alzheimer’s than Men? It’s Not Just from Living Longer

Middle-aged women are more likely than men to have changes in the brain related to Alzheimer’s disease, as detected by imaging, even when there are no differences in thinking and memory. This may be associated with hormonal changes due to menopause, specifically the loss of estrogen, according to a study published in the June 24, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Mother/Infant Skin-to-Skin Touch Boosts Baby’s Brain Development and Function

As the world prioritizes social distancing due to COVID-19, new research shows that extended use of Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest method of caring for a baby, can positively benefit full-term infants and their mothers, which has important implications for post-partum depression. The study provides evidence that the physiology of mothers and their full-term infants is influenced by Kangaroo care: it increases oxytocin levels in mothers, and during infancy, can favorably influence both neurodevelopmental trajectories and infant neurobiological functioning.

Expert Team Tackles Thyroid and Parathyroid Diseases

When the thyroid and parathyroid glands don’t work well, the entire body feels out of balance. To tackle thyroid and parathyroid diseases, Nathan Boyd, MD, recently launched the UNM Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery Program, housed at the UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center, to offer state-of-the-art treatments for these diseases.

BREAK POINT

At a glance:

Experiments in worms reveal the molecular damage caused by DEHP, a chemical commonly used to make plastics flexible
DEHP interferes with proper cell division during egg formation, leads to excessive DNA breakage, alters chromosome appearance
Abnormalities help explain known link between DEHP and human birth defects, male infertility
If replicated in further research, the insights can help inform regulatory changes, consumer choice

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