Psychopharmacology

, Volume 156, Issue 4, pp 477–480

Tryptophan depletion increases aggression in women during the premenstrual phase

  • Alyson J. Bond
  • Janet Wingrove
  • Gail D. Critchlow
Rapid Communication

Abstract.

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.

Serotonin Aggression Tryptophan depletion Premenstrual phase 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyson J. Bond
    • 1
  • Janet Wingrove
    • 1
  • Gail D. Critchlow
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Clinical Psychopharmacology, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

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