The Psychobiology of Premenstrual Syndromes: The Michigan Studies

  • Meir Steiner
  • Roger F. Haskett


Among adult women, the incidence and prevalence of depression, excessive anxiety, and related behavioral disturbances are disproportionately high. Sex differences and the epidemiology of depression have been reviewed to highlight this point (Weissman & Klerman, 1977). In every age group studied to date, at least a 2:1 female-to-male ratio of depression was found, and the incidence in community surveys is even more skewed toward women, with the ratio being as high as 4:1. These differences are conceptually and statistically significant and seem to be consistent between surveys (Robins, Helzer, Weissman, Orvaschel, Gruenberg, Burke, & Regier, 1984).


Menstrual Cycle Clinical Endocrinology Premenstrual Syndrome Dexamethasone Suppression Test Premenstrual Symptom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abplanalp, J. M., R. F. Haskett, and R. M. Rose, 1980. The premenstrual syndrome.Psychiatric Clinics of North America 3: 327–347.Google Scholar
  2. Aitken, R., 1969. Measurement of feelings using Visual Analogue Scales.Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 62: 989–993.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Akiskal, H., A. Djenderedjian, R. Rosenthal, and M. Khani, 1977. Cyclothymic disorder: Validating criteria for inclusion in the bipolar affective group.American Journal of Psychiatry 134: 1227–1233.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Andersch, B., 1983. Bromocriptine and premenstrual symptoms: A survey of double blind trials.Obstetrics and Gynecology Survey 38: 643–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andersch, B., L. Hahn, C. Wendestam, R. Ohman, and L. Abrahamsson, 1978. Treatment of premenstrual tension syndrome with bromocriptine.Acta Endocrinologica Supplement 216: 165–174.Google Scholar
  6. Andersen, A. N., J. F. Larsen, O. R. Steenstrup, B. Svendstrup, and J. Nielsen, 1977. Effect of bromocriptine on the premenstrual syndrome: A double blind clinical trial.British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 84: 370–374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aubert, M. L., T. Lemarchand-Beraud, R. Deguillaume, and P. Desaulles, 1971. Cortisol secretion during the normal menstrual cycle.Acta Endocrinologica Supplement 155: 78.Google Scholar
  8. Backstrom, T. and A. Aakvaag, 1981. Plasma prolactin and testosterone during the luteal phase in women with premenstrual tension syndrome.Psychoneuroendocrinology 6: 245–251.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Backstrom, T. and B. Mattsson, 1975. Correlation of symptoms in premenstrual tension to estrogen and progesterone concentrations in blood plasma: A preliminary study.Neuropsychobiology 1: 80–86.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Beisel, W., J. Cos, R. Horton, P. Chao, and P. Forsham, 1964. Physiology of urinary Cortisol excretion.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology 24: 887–893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Benedek-Jaszmann, L. J. and M. D. Hearn-Sturtevant, 1976. Premenstrual tension and functional infertility.The Lancet 1: 1095–1098.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Blichert-Toft, M., A. Andersen, O. Hendriksen, and T. Mygind, 1979. Treatment of mastalgia with bromocriptine: A double blind cross-over study.British Medical Journal 1: 237.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bulbrook, R., J. Herian, D. Tong, J. Hayward, M. Swain, and D. Wang, 1973. Effect of steroidal contraceptives on levels of plasma androgen sulphates and Cortisol.The Lancet 1: 628–631.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burke, C. and C. Beardwell, 1973. Cushing’s syndrome An evaluation of the clinical usefulness of urinary free Cortisol and other urinary steroid measures in diagnosis.Quarterly Journal of Medicine 42: 175–204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Carr, B. R., C. R. Parker, Jr., J. D. Madden, P. C. MacDonald, and J. C. Porter, 1979. Plasma levels of adrenocrticotropin and Cortisol in women receiving oral contraceptive steroid treatment.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 49: 346–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carroll, B. J., 1972. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in depression. In: B. Davies, B. J. Carroll, and R. M. Mowbray (Eds.),Depressive Illness: Some Research Studies. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL, pp. 23–68.Google Scholar
  17. Carroll, B. J., G. C. Curtis, B. M. Davies, J. Mendels, and A. Sugerman, 1976a. Urinary free Cortisol excretion in depression.Psychological Medicine 6: 43–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carroll, B. J., G. C. Curtis, and J. Mendels, 1976b. Neuroendocrine regulation in depression: 1. Limbic system-adrenocortical dysfunction.Archives of General Psychiatry 33: 1039–1044.Google Scholar
  19. Carroll, B. J., M. Feinberg, P. E. Smouse, S. G. Rawson, and J. F. Greden, 1981a. The Carroll Rating Scale for Depression: 1. Development, reliability and validation.British Journal of Psychiatry 138: 194–200.Google Scholar
  20. Carroll, B. J., M. Feinberg, J. F. Greden, J. Tarika, A. A. Albala, R. F. Haskett, N. M. James, Z. Kronfol, N. Lohr, M. Steiner, J. P. de Vigne, and E. Young, 198lb. A specific laboratory test for the diagnosis of melancholia: Standardization, validation, and clinical utility.Archives of General Psychiatry 38: 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Carroll, B. J. and M. Steiner, 1978. The psychobiology of premenstrual dysphoria: The role of prolactin.Psychoneuroendocrinology 3: 171–180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Clayton, P. J., 1983. Gender and depression. In: J. Angst (Ed.),The Origins of Depression: Current Concepts and Approaches, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 77–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Del Pozo, E., R. B. Del Re, L. Varga, and H. Friesen, 1972. The inhibition of prolactin secretion in man by CB 154 (2-Br.-alphaergocryptine).Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 35: 768–771.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dennerstein, L., F. Judd, and B. Davies, 1983. Psychosis and the menstrual cycle.Medical Journal of Australia 28: 524–526.Google Scholar
  25. Ehara, Y., T. Siler, G. Vandenberg, Y. N. Sinha, and S.S.C. Yen, 1973. Circulating prolactin levels during the menstrual cycle: Episodic release and diurnal variations.American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 117: 962–970.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Fluckiger, E., 1978. Effects of bromocriptine on the hypothalamo-pituitary axis.Acta Endocrinologica Supplement 216: 111–117.Google Scholar
  27. Fritz, M. A. and L. Speroff, 1982. The endocrinology of the menstrual cycle: the interaction of folliculogenesis and neuroendocrine mechanisms.Fertility and Sterility 38: 509–529.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Ghose, K. and A. Coppen, 1977. Bromocriptine and premenstrual syndrome: Controlled study.British Medical Journal 1: 147–148.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Graham, J. J., P. E. Harding, P. H. Wise, and H. Berriman, 1978. Prolactin suppression in the treatment of premenstrual syndrome.Medical Journal of Australia Supplement 3: 18–20.Google Scholar
  30. Greaves, A. R. and H. F. West, 1960. Relation of free corticosteroids in urine to steroid dosage.The Lancet 1: 368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Halbreich, U., M. Assael, M. Ben-David, and R. Bornstein, 1976. Serum prolactin in women with premenstrual syndrome.The Lancet 2: 654–656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Halbreich, U. and J. Endicott, 1985. Methodological issues in studies of premenstrual changes.Psycho neuroendocrinology 10: 15–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hamilton, M., 1960. A rating scale for depression.Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 23: 56–62.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Haskett, R. F. and J. M. Abplanalp, 1983. Premenstrual tension syndrome: Diagnostic criteria and selection of research subjects.Psychiatry Research 9: 125–138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Haskett, R. F. and M. Steiner, 1986. The diagnosis of premenstrual tension syndrome in psychiatric practice.Hospital and Community Psychiatry 37: 33–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Haskett, R. F., M. Steiner, and B. Carroll, 1984. A psychoendocrine study of premenstrual tension syndrome: A model for endogenous depressionJournal of Affective Disorders 6: 191–199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Haskett, R. F., M. Steiner, J. N. Osmun, and B. J. Carroll, 1980. Severe premenstrual tension: Delineation of the syndrome.Biological Psychiatry 15: 121–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Hellman, L., K. Yoshida, B. Zumoff, J. Levin, J. Kream, and D. Fukushima, 1976. The effect of medroxyprogesterone acetate on the pituitary-adrenal axis.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 42: 912–917.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Horrobin, D. F., R. A. Karmali, J. P. Mtabaji, M. S. Manku, and B. A. Nassar, 1976. Prolactin and mental illness.Postgraduate Medical Journal Supplement 3: 79–85.Google Scholar
  40. Janowsky, D. S., S. C. Berens, and J. M. Davis, 1973. Correlations between mood, weight, and electrolytes during the menstrual cycle: A renin-angiotensin-aldosterone hypothesis of premenstrual tension.Psychosomatic Medicine 35: 143–154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Judd, L., B. Hubbard, D. Janowsky, L. Huey, and P. Attewell, 1977. The effect of lithium carbonate on affect, mood, and personality of normal subjects.Archives of General Psychiatry 34: 346–351.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kaulhausen, J., G. Leyendecker, G. Benker, and H. Breuer, 1978. The relationship of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system to plasma gonadotropin, prolactin and ovarian steroid patterns during the menstrual cycle.Archives of Gynaekologie 225: 179–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lindholm, J. and N. Schultz-Moller, 1973. Plasma and urinary Cortisol in pregnancy and during estrogen gestagen treatment.Scandinavian Journal of Clinical Laboratory Investigations 31: 119–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Maxwell, C, 1978. Sensitivity and accuracy of the visual analogue scale: A psychophysical classroom experiment.British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 6: 15–24.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Mills, D. E. and D. Robershaw, 1981. Response of plasma prolactin to changes in ambient temperature and humidity in man.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 52: 279–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Moos, R. H., 1969.Menstrual Distress Questionnaire. Preliminary Manual. Social Ecology Laboratory, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  47. Murphy, B., 1967. Some studies of the protein-binding of steroids and their application to the routine micro and ultramicro measurement of various steroids in body fluids by competitive protein-binding radioassay.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 27: 973–990.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Murphy, B., 1968. Clinical evaluation of urinary Cortisol determinations by competitive protein-binding radioassay.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 28: 343–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Muse, K. N., N. S. Cetel, L. A. Futterman, and S.S.C. Yen, 1984. The premenstrual syndrome.New England Journal of Medicine 311: 1345–1349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Norman, W. H., B. A. Johnson, and I. W. Miller III, 1984. Depression: A behavioral-cognitive approach. In: E. A. Blechman (Ed.),Behavior Modification with Women. Guilford Press, New York, NY, pp. 275–307.Google Scholar
  51. Nurnberger, F. I. and E. S. Gershon, 1982. Genetics. In: E. S. Paykel (Ed.),Handbook of Affective Disorders. Guilford Press, New York, NY, pp. 126–145.Google Scholar
  52. Obrien, P.M.S. and E. M. Symonds, 1982. Prolactin levels in the premenstrual syndrome.British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 89: 306–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Osmun, J. N., M. Steiner, and R. F. Haskett, 1983. Psychosocial aspects of severe premenstrual tension.International Journal of Women’s Studies 6: 65–70.Google Scholar
  54. Parlee, M. B., 1973. The premenstrual syndrome.Psycho pharmacological Bulletin 80: 454–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Punnonen, R., S. Nummi, O. Ylikorkala, U. Alapiessa, P. Karvonen, and L. Viinikka, 1976. A composite picture of the normal menstrual cycle.Acta Obstetrica and Gynecologica Scandinavica Supplement 51: 63–70.Google Scholar
  56. Quigley, M. E., J. F. Ropert, and S.S.C. Yen, 1981. Acute prolactin release triggered by feeding.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 52: 1043–1045.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Robins, L. N., J. E. Helzer, M. M. Weissman, H. Orvaschel, E.Gruenberg, J. D. Burke, Jr., and D. A. Regier, 1984. Lifetime prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders in three sites.Archives of General Psychiatry 41: 949–958.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rosner, J., J. Cos, E. Biglieri, S. Hane, and P. Forsham, 1963. Determination of urinary unconjugated Cortisol by glass fiber chromatography in the diagnosis of Cushing’s Syndrome.Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 23: 820–827.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Rubin, R. T., J. M. Reinisch, and R. F. Haskett, 1981. Postnatal gonadal steroid effects on human behavior.Science 211: 1318–1324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rubinow, D. R. and P. Roy-Byrne, 1984. Premenstrual syndromes: Overview from a methodologic perspective.American Journal of Psychiatry 141: 163–172.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  61. Ruble, D. N., 1977. Premenstrual symptoms: A re interpretation.Science 197: 291–292.Google Scholar
  62. Saxena, B. N., J. Dusitsin, and L. Lazarus, 1974. Human growth hormone (HGH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and Cortisol levels in the serum of menstruating Thai women.Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Commonwealth 81: 563–567.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Schulz, K., E. Del Pozo, K. Lose, H. Kunzig, and W. Geiger, 1975. Successful treatment of mastodynia with the prolactin inhibitor bromocriptine (CB-154).Archives Gynaekologie 220: 83–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Smith, S. L., 1975. Mood and the menstrual cycle. In: E. J. Sachar (Ed.),Topics in Psychoendocrinology. Grune and Stratton, New York, NY, pp. 19–58.Google Scholar
  65. Smith, S. L., J. M. Cleghorn, D. L. Streiner, and E. V. Younglai, 1975. A study of estrogens and progesterone in premenstrual depression. In: H. Hirsch (Ed.),The Family. Karger, Basel, pp. 538–542.Google Scholar
  66. Spielberger, C. D., R. L. Gorsuch, and R. E. Lushene, 1970.STAI Manual. Consulting Psychologist Press, Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  67. Spitzer, R. L., J. Endicott, and E. Robins, 1978. Research diagnostic criteria: rationale and reliability. Archives of General Psychiatry 35: 773–782.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Steiner, M., 1979. Psychobiology of mental disorders associated with childbearing: An overview. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 60: 449–464.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Steiner, M., 1983. Psychobiologic aspects of the Menopausal Syndrome. In: H. J. Buchsbaum (Ed.), The Menopause. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, pp. 151–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Steiner, M. and B. J. Carroll, 1977. The psychobiology of premenstrual dysphoria: Review of theories and treatments.Psychoneuroendocrinology 2: 321–335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Steiner, M., R. F. Haskett, and B. J. Carroll, 1980a. Premenstrual tension syndrome: The development of research diagnostic criteria and new rating scales.Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 62: 177–190.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Steiner, M., R. F. Haskett, J. N. Osmun, and B. J. Carroll, 1980b. Treatment of premenstrual tension with lithium carbonate: A pilot study.Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 61: 96–102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Steiner, M., R. F. Haskett, J. N. Osmun, M. N. Starkman, E. Peterson, R. Metski, and B. J. Carroll, 1983. The treatment of severe premenstrual dysphoria with bromocriptine.Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology 2: 223–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Steiner, M., R. F. Haskett, B. J. Carroll, S. E. Hays, and R. T. Rubin, 1984a. Plasma prolactin and severe premenstrual tension.Psychoneuroendocrinology 9: 29–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Steiner, M., R. F. Haskett, B. J. Carroll, S. E. Hays, and R. T. Rubin, 1984b. Circadian hormone secretory profiles in women with severe premenstrual tension syndrome.British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 91: 466–471. Sutherland, H. and L. Stewart, 1965. A critical analysis of the premenstrual syndrome.The Lancet 1: 1180.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Vaitukaitis, J. L., 1984. Premenstrual syndrome.The New England Journal of Medicine 311: 1371–1373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Weissman, M. M. and G. L. Klerman, 1977. Sex differences and the epidemiology of depression.Archives of General Psychiatry 34: 98–111.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zuckerman, M. and B. Lubin, 1965.Manual for Multiple Affect Adjective Check List. Educational and Industrial Testing Service, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meir Steiner
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roger F. Haskett
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and NeurosciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Clinical Studies Program, McMaster Psychiatric UnitSt. Joseph’s HospitalHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Clinical Studies Unit, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations