Exploratory study of premenstrual symptoms and serotonin variability

Summary

Premenstrual symptoms can pose significant problems for a large number of women; this small exploratory study was designed to investigate biological markers that may provide etiological clues. Using an algorithm based on daily symptom charting for two months, 15 participants were assigned to one of three study groups: non-symptomatic (n = 9), probable PMS (n = 3) and probable PMDD (n = 3). During two overnight admissions, one prior to and one following the onset of menses, participants had blood drawn to assess the level of available serotonin via one of its metabolites, 5-HIAA. The three groups exhibited potentially significant differences in several biological markers. This study‘s results are consistent with a hypothesis implicating serotonin in the generation of premenstrual symptomology.

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Clayton, A., Keller, A., Leslie, C. et al. Exploratory study of premenstrual symptoms and serotonin variability. Arch Womens Ment Health 9, 51–57 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-005-0118-4

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  • Keywords: Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS); Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD); serotonin; 5-HIAA.