Hormonal Influences on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Measures
Brawn J., Vincent K.
Hormones have long been known to have important physiological influences on the body. However, an increasing body of literature now also documents their effects on the brain (McEwen, 2012). Moreover, it is not just the hormones themselves that influence neurobiology; both their precursors and derivatives also play an important role. This chapter highlights the possible confounds that may be introduced if they are not considered in all experimental designs. We will begin by giving a brief overview of the synthesis and functions of the hormones of interest and will then review the research to date demonstrating an influence on MRS measures. While many excellent studies exist examining the role of hormones on brain neurochemistry, they do not provide enough information to paint the full biological picture. The current body of research varies in region of interest, neurochemicals studied, and hormones measured. It is clear that more studies are needed to corroborate previous findings as well as clarify current contradictions. Moving forward, researchers should try to better define how hormones differentially affect brain regions since fluctuations in neurotransmitters, such as GABA, have been found to vary. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.