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Approved Research

The relationship between parity and white matter hyperintensities

Principal Investigator: Ms Samantha Cote
Approved Research ID: 76810
Approval date: December 8th 2021

Lay summary

Pregnancy is a time in which the female body undergoes many physiological changes, currently the long-term effects of these changes on the female brain  remain largely unknown. It is believed that multiple pregnancies can significantly increase a women's risk of stroke and dementia. White matter hyperintensities  (WMH) are a common occurrence in normal aging and WMH volume increase in individuals with stroke  and dementia. Therefore, it is possible that the size of WMH in a women's brain may be related to the number of pregnancies a woman had. The goal of this study is to determine the relationship between the number of pregnancies  and WMH in female brain. This project will last 36 months and it will use MRI images of post-menopausal women's brains to estimate the size of WMH in women and determine if there is a link between the number of pregnancies and the size of the WMH. This research will advance our understanding of the long-term impacts of pregnancy on the female brain and may be useful for developing preventative, personalized medicine to lower the progress of WMH and risk of stroke and AD and improve women's health.