Menstrual cycle-related brain metabolite changes using H-1 magnetic resonance spectroscopy in premenopausal women: a pilot study PSYCHIATRY RESEARCH-NEUROIMAGING Rasgon, N. L., Thomas, M. A., Guze, B. H., Fairbanks, L. A., Yue, K., Curran, J. G., Rapkin, A. J. 2001; 106 (1): 47-57


Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used to assess neurochemical brain changes across the menstrual cycle in five women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and six control subjects. Women with PMDD and control subjects were scanned on days 8 and 26 within one menstrual cycle (i.e. at times of complete absence and height of PMDD symptoms, respectively). The point resolved spectroscopic sequence (PRESS) was used to localize a voxel of 8 ml in the medial frontal gray matter and in the occipito-parietal white matter. The ratio of N-acetyl-aspartate to creatine in the region of the medial prefrontal cortex and the cingulate gyrus declined significantly from the follicular to the luteal phase in both groups of subjects. The menstrual phase-dependent significant increase in the ratio of choline to creatine was observed in the parietal white matter. The myo-inositol/creatine ratio exhibited a trend toward higher levels in the PMDD patients in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Differences between PMDD and control subjects were not statistically significant. Menstrual cycle phase-dependent changes in ovarian hormonal concentrations may influence the neurochemistry of brain activity in premenopausal women.

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