Brain Health,
Sci + Society,

#062: Brain Changes From “The Pill”?

January 28, 2015

In Episode #62, we hear from Dr. Belinda Pletzer of Salzburg University about the surprising effects of oral contraception on brain structure. Although Dr. Pletzer is careful to note that – because further research is in order – “The Pill” shouldn’t necessarily be considered cognitively beneficial or detrimental, her findings nonetheless merit some thought. Especially considering that approximately 100 million women worldwide are taking The Pill on a daily basis!

We’ll also find out why the Federal Trade Commission is enforcing new requirements for how “brain games” are advertized, and take a look at an alternative hypothesis for the cause of addiction.

Show Notes
  • 00:00:31

    What do contraceptive pills have to do with cognition?

  • 00:01:41

    This Week in Neuroscience: Federal Trade Commission Cracking Down On "Brain Game" Claims

  • 00:03:36

    iTunes Review thank-you

  • 00:04:58

    Follow-up question (and answer!) from Episode #60: Blood Work With Dr. Alexis Shields

  • 00:06:54

    Thanks to Dante for "The Pill" topic suggestion

  • 00:07:49

    The accidental way this study began, and the differences found in the participants' brains

  • 00:09:04

    Androgenic vs anti-androgenic contraceptives and their opposite effects on the body and brain structure

  • 00:12:33

    What does "an increase in gray matter" actually mean?

  • 00:13:36

    The parts of the brain that have shown to be most affected by "The Pill", and what the fusiform gyrus is used for

  • 00:15:07

    How oral contraceptives affect facial recognition

  • 00:16:36

    Dr. Pletzer's thoughts on the need for bigger data sets and more comprehensive studies on the topic

  • 00:18:16

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

  • 00:22:20

    Episode #63 teaser

One comment

  1. Mitchel M.D. says:

    Birth control and other estrogen hormones also deplete certain B vitamins critical for optimal function of a variety of bodily/ cellular mechanisms. I know that very few uses of these meds realize the effects on the body.

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