Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hormone Fluctuations May Be Responsible For Many Mood Disturbances In Women

Date:
December 3, 2007
Source:
Society for Women's Health Research
Summary:
Although mood disorders and depression may occur at any age during a woman's life, women seem to more vulnerable during times of hormonal fluctuations such as the menstrual period, pregnancy and perimenopause, according to a new report. During times of hormonal flux, many women are able to emerge relatively unscathed. But for others, a normal hormonal transition can trigger mild to severe mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder.

Although mood disorders and depression may occur at any age during a woman’s life, women seem to more vulnerable during times of hormonal fluctuations such as the menstrual period, pregnancy and perimenopause, according to a report released by the Society for Women’s Health Research in November.

Related Articles


During times of hormonal flux, many women are able to emerge relatively unscathed. But for others, a normal hormonal transition can trigger mild to severe mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder. “Science has revealed clues as to why these changes may occur in some women,” says Peter Schmidt, M.D., an investigator in the National Institute of Mental Health’s Reproductive Endocrine Studies Unit, “but further research is needed to definitively show what causes depression and mood disorders in women during hormonal transitions.”

The Society for Women’s Health Research and the National Institute for Mental Health convened a thought leaders’ roundtable in June to discuss current efforts to understand the effects of hormonal transitions, specifically pregnancy, postpartum, and perimenopause, on the occurrence of mood disorders in women. The report outlines the participants’ views.

Roundtable participants observed that postpartum depression affects roughly 10 to 15 percent of women up to one year after childbirth, but the exact cause is not known. Some scientists believe that chemical changes in the brain may be caused by the shifts in hormone levels during pregnancy and the post-partum period, leaving women vulnerable to depression. Other life cycle changes in a woman’s life such as perimenopause where hormones are shifting may produce similar emotional disturbances.

Scientific research conducted by Schmidt, David Rubinow, M.D., at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and their colleagues illustrated the effect of hormones on human mood by shutting down the ovarian cycle in an attempt to eliminate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. After two to three months of ovarian suppression, the study participants’ problematic mood symptoms were greatly reduced. The researchers concluded that when reproductive hormones are removed, premenstrual symptoms or PMS disappears.

Despite our present understanding of the effects hormones have on a person’s state of mind, more research is needed. According to the roundtable report, more studies are needed to better distinguish between the normal response to life cycle changes and the symptoms of depression. In addition, more research is needed to figure out why some women are more susceptible to depression during hormonal transitions than others.

In conjunction with the report, the Society for Women’s Health Research revealed the results of a recent national survey polling doctors and their patients. The survey shows that many women underestimate their risk of depression and mood disturbances during hormonal transitions.

“Women need to be critically aware of changes in their moods during key life cycle events,” Sherry Marts, Ph.D. and vice president of scientific affairs for the Society. “The roundtable began a much needed discussion about the relationship between hormonal transitions and mood disorders. Through the media briefing and the publishing of this report we hope to generate a broader understanding of how we can use this knowledge to improve health outcomes for women.”

References:

Berman KF, Schmidt PJ, Rubinow D, et al. Modulation of cognition-specific cortical activity by gonadal steroids: A positron-emission tomography study in women. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1997; 94: 8836-8841.

Schmidt PJ, Nieman LK, Danaceau MA et al. Differential behavioral effects of gonadal steroids in women with and in those without premenstrual syndrome. New Engl J Med 1998; 338: 209-16.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Women's Health Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Women's Health Research. "Hormone Fluctuations May Be Responsible For Many Mood Disturbances In Women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154059.htm>.
Society for Women's Health Research. (2007, December 3). Hormone Fluctuations May Be Responsible For Many Mood Disturbances In Women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154059.htm
Society for Women's Health Research. "Hormone Fluctuations May Be Responsible For Many Mood Disturbances In Women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154059.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Melafind: Spotting Melanoma Without a Biopsy

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The MelaFind device is a pain-free way to check suspicious moles for melanoma, without the need for a biopsy. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Battling Multiple Myeloma

Battling Multiple Myeloma

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — The answer isn’t always found in new drugs – repurposing an ‘old’ drug that could mean better multiple myeloma treatment, and hope. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Chronic Inflammation and Prostate Cancer

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — New information that is linking chronic inflammation in the prostate and prostate cancer, which may help doctors and patients prevent cancer in the future. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Sickle Cell: Stopping Kids’ Silent Strokes

Ivanhoe (Oct. 31, 2014) — Blood transfusions are proving crucial to young sickle cell patients by helping prevent strokes, even when there is no outward sign of brain injury. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins