1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
Previously, it was reported that hippocampal dendritic spine density increased during pregnancy. It suggested that this additional neural plasticity facilitated learning and memory. Moreover, it was confirmed that pregnancy improved spatial learning and memory and, reduced anxiety and stress responsiveness. It was documented that these changes are related to hippocampus. Hence, this study investigated the feasibility of utilizing diffusion tensor imaging and resting-state functional connectivity MRI to detect tissue microstructural changes and functional connectivity changes in the hippocampus respectively. The results indicated that pregnancy induced tissue microstructural and functional connectivity changes in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the results suggested that fractional anisotropy changes and functional connectivity changes were correlated and coupled during pregnancy.