PMDD is heritable, affects 5-8% of women, and is associated with severe emotional and physical problems, such as irritability, marked depressed mood, anger, headaches, weight gain and more, to such an extent that quality of life is seriously impacted. Previously, researchers have shown that women with PMDD have an abnormal response to normal hormone levels and, thus, are differentially sensitive to their own hormone changes. Huo and colleagues now report their new findings, which link PMDD with common variants in the estrogen receptor alpha gene, in an article scheduled for publication in the October 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry.
Huo and colleagues performed genetic testing and analyses on women diagnosed with PMDD and healthy control subjects to investigate possible sources of the genetic susceptibility to experience PMDD, and found variants in the estrogen receptor alpha gene that are associated with PMDD. In other words, women with these particular genetic variants were more likely to suffer from PMDD. Importantly, the authors also discovered that this association is seen only in women with a variant form of another gene, catechol – o – methyltransferase (COMT), which is involved in regulating the function of the prefrontal cortex, a critical regulator of mood. David Rubinow, M.D., lead author on this project, notes that these findings “may help fill in the picture of how changes in ovarian hormones can lead to depression and why they do so only in a small subset of women.”
John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry and affiliated with both Yale University School of Medicine and the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, comments, “We have been waiting for molecular genetics to provide some insights into the neurobiology of PMDD and this report from Huo et al. provides a welcome starting point for this research area.” He adds, “In the case of PMDD, we are interested in the internal, hormonal environment as well as external environmental factors, such as stress. This report suggests that genetic factors may influence both dimensions of PMDD vulnerability.”
Although this is a preliminary report and further research, including replication of this finding, is needed, it represents an important advance in the genetic understanding of PMDD. As Dr. Rubinow explains, “The more that we can learn about how cyclical depressions get triggered in women with PMDD and why, the better will be our understanding of non hormone-related depression as well as the normal regulation of mood.”
Jayne Dawkins | alfa
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences