Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure

Date:
August 11, 2010
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Primary dysmenorrheal, or menstrual cramps, is the most common gynecological disorder in women of childbearing age. Lower abdominal pain starts with the onset of menstrual flow and this ongoing pain stimulus can cause alterations throughout the nervous system. In a new study, researchers report abnormal changes in the structure of the brain in PDM patients, whether or not they are in fact experiencing pain.

Primary dysmenorrhea (PDM), or menstrual cramps, is the most common gynecological disorder in women of childbearing age. Lower abdominal pain starts with the onset of menstrual flow and this ongoing pain stimulus can cause alterations throughout the nervous system.

Related Articles


In a study scheduled for publication in the September issue of the journal Pain, researchers report abnormal changes in the structure of the brain in PDM patients, whether or not they are in fact experiencing pain.

Lead investigator, Professor Jen-Chuen Hsieh, MD, PhD, Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, commented, "Our results demonstrated that abnormal GM [gray matter] changes were present in PDM patients even in absence of pain. This shows that not only sustained pain but also cyclic occurring menstrual pain can result in longer-lasting central changes. Although the functional consequences remain to be established, these results indicate that the adolescent brain is vulnerable to menstrual pain. Longitudinal studies are needed to probe hormonal interaction, fast-changing adaptation (intra-menstrual cycle) and whether such changes are reversible or not."

32 PDM patients and 32 age- and menstrual-cycle-matched controls participated in the study. MRI scans of each subject were obtained when the PDM patients were not experiencing pain, and maps of gray matter (GM) were created. Both the total GM volume and the GM volume of specific brain areas were determined for both PDM patients and controls.

In these anatomical maps, significant GM volume changes were observed in the PDM patients. Abnormal decreases were found in regions involved in pain transmission, higher level sensory processing, and affect regulation while increases were found in regions involved in pain modulation and in regulation of endocrine function.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cheng-Hao Tu, David M. Niddam, Hsiang-Tai Chao, Li-Fen Chen, Yong-Sheng Chen, Yu-Te Wu, Tzu-Chen Yeh, Jiing-Feng Lirng, and Jen-Chuen Hsieh. Brain morphological changes associated with cyclic menstrual pain. Pain, 2010; 150 (3): 462 DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2010.05.026

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100811085408.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2010, August 11). Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100811085408.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100811085408.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
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