Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 717–724 | Cite as

Thalamocortical dysconnectivity in premenstrual syndrome

  • Peng LiuEmail author
  • Ying Wei
  • Hai Liao
  • Yingying Fan
  • Ru Li
  • Nana Feng
  • Gaoxiong Duan
  • Demao DengEmail author
  • Wei QinEmail author
Original Research


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a menstrual cycle-related disorder. Although the precise pathophysiology is not fully understood, it is increasingly believed that the central nervous system plays a vital role in the development of PMS. The aim of this study is to elucidate specific functional connectivity between the thalamus and cerebral cortex. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were obtained from 20 PMS patients and 21 healthy controls (HCs). Seed-based functional connectivity between the thalamus and six cortical regions of interest, including the prefrontal cortex (PFC), posterior parietal cortex, somatosensory cortex, motor cortex/supplementary motor area, temporal and occipital lobe, was adopted to identify specific thalamocortical connectivity in the two groups. Correlation analysis was then used to examine relationships between the neuroimaging findings and clinical symptoms. Activity in distinct cortical regions correlated with specific sub-regions of the thalamus in the two groups. Comparison between groups exhibited decreased prefrontal-thalamic connectivity and increased posterior parietal–thalamic connectivity in the PMS patients. Within the PMS group, the daily record of severity of problems (DRSP) score negatively correlated with the prefrontal-thalamic connectivity. Our findings may provide preliminary evidence for abnormal thalamocortical connectivity in PMS patients and may contribute to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of PMS.


Premenstrual syndrome Functional magnetic resonance imaging Functional connectivity Thalamus 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 81771918, 81471738, 81471811 and 81760886; National Basic Research Program of China under Grant Nos. 2014CB543203 and 2015CB856403; Guangxi Natural Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 2016GXNSFAA380006 and 2017GXNSFBA198095; Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China under Grant No. 2017JM6051; and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Ethical approval

The experiment procedures were approved by the Medicine Ethics Committee of First Affiliated Hospital, Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Guangxi, China. Each research procedure of this study was conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. All participants provided written informed consent after receiving an explanation of the whole study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life Sciences Research Center, School of Life Science and TechnologyXidian UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Engineering Research Center of Molecular and Neuro Imaging, Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and TechnologyXidian UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyFirst Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi University of Chinese MedicineNanningChina

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