(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — For all our scientific advances in the field of health over the last couple of centuries, there’s one large area that is still underserved: women’s brain health.
“Women constitute half of the world’s population, yet historically neuroscience research hasn’t served the sexes equally,” said UC Santa Barbara neuroscientist Emily Jacobs. “For decades, human neuroimaging studies have overlooked basic elements of a woman’s life — the menstrual cycle, oral hormonal contraceptive use, pregnancy, menopause — and how they might shape the brain. We’re excited to help correct course.”
Jacobs, an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, is tackling this research blind spot head-on. With support from a five-year, $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Jacobs and her team will carry out a large-scale study to establish how ovarian hormones impact the structural and functional architecture of the human brain.