PMS – genes or behaviour?

Posted on: 20 January 2017

For the first time, researchers have found cellular evidence and a biological cause for Premenstrual Dysmorphic Disorder (PMDD) – a severe form of PMS. A sex hormone-sensitive gene complex can cause PMDD and the way the body reacts to oestrogen and progesterone.

In a study into PMDD by the National Institutes of health (NIH) in the US, genetic evidence has been found into the disorder. Those who suffer from the disorder can experience severe psychological symptoms, like tension and irritability, and depression. This ‘dysregulated expression’ has been now found in a suspect gene complex. ‘Learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment of such prevalent reproductive endocrine-related mood disorder’, says Peter Schmidt, MD of NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health, Behavioural and Endocrinology branch.

This is could be a big moment for women’s health because it establishes that women with PMDD have an intrinsic difference at a molecular level for response to sex hormones, not just emotional behaviours they should be able to control.

This study was published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.

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