Tryptophan depletion increases aggression in women during the premenstrual phase
- Cite this article as:
- Bond, A.J., Wingrove, J. & Critchlow, G.D. Psychopharmacology (2001) 156: 477. doi:10.1007/s002130100795
Rationale: Reducing serotonin by the method of tryptophan depletion (TD) has led to increased aggression but experimental studies have not used female subjects. Objective: To evaluate the effects of TD on aggression in women in the late luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. Methods: Healthy women were recruited and randomly assigned to an amino acid drink either depleted or with a balanced amount of tryptophan. At 4.5 h later, they competed on the competitive reaction time task. Results: Women who had received the TD drink showed more behavioural aggression in response to provocation. Conclusion: Decreased serotonergic neurotransmission increases aggression in women as well as men.