Oestrogen may change brain activity in ways that could impact how physically active we are, according to a remarkable new study in mice that looked at DNA, hormones and brain cells. Using advanced technology to pinpoint and reprogram specific genes and neurons in living animals, the study found that surges of oestrogen jump-started processes in the mouse brain that prompted the animals — even males — to become more active.
The study, published recently in Nature, involved mice. While humans share many of the same relevant hormones, genes and neurons, we are not mice and cannot yet say whether our brains and physiological systems work the same way. But the findings may open intriguing avenues of inquiry into why women so often become inactive after menopause, when oestrogen fades. The results also underscore how the brain and internal biological processes work together to play an unexpected and substantial role in whether the body gets up and moves or remains mostly still.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
By Gretchen Reynolds
October 26, 2021 — 5.50am