The study focused on a specific brain region, called the hippocampus, which has important roles in memory and spatial ability, such as navigational skills.

The researchers investigated whether the different forms of the hormone estrogens could have different effects on rats that had experienced motherhood once and on those who had not.

There are three forms of estrogens: estradiol, estrone and estriol.They found that estrone-based HT improved learning in middle-aged rats who had not experienced motherhood, but impaired learning in rats of the same age who experience motherhood.

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