-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone levels at certain
phases of the menstrual cycle affect women's emotional responses,
finds a new study.
Researchers used MRI to study the brains of women who viewed a
series of pictures and rated them as pleasant, unpleasant or
neutral. This test was repeated at different stages of the women's
In the early follicular stage of the menstrual cycle, no areas
of the women's brains showed significantly increased activation
while viewing the pictures. But during the midpoint of their
menstrual cycle, when hormone levels were higher, the women had
increased activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and other areas
of the brain involved in processing emotional information, the
The study was to be presented Oct. 25 at the annual meeting of
the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, Colo.
"This research sheds light on what may prove to be an important role for hormones when it comes to processing emotions," president-elect Dr. Rogerio Lobo said in a society news release.
Previous studies have found that the rate of affective disorders
(mood disorders) is two times higher in women than in men. Many
experts believe this difference is due to sex hormones.
WomensHealth.gov has more about
menstruation, menopause and mental health.
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