Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“This is a big moment for women’s health”: scientists confirm PMT could be a genetic condition

iStock-516136270.jpg

Scientists have made a “significant breakthrough” in our understanding of pre-menstrual tension (PMT), with the discovery that some women’s genes behave differently as their hormones fluctuate during their monthly cycle.

It was previously thought that the common psychological symptoms of PMT, which can include anxiety, depression and insomnia, were due to a fluctuation of chemicals in the brain, triggered by the hormonal changes that occur before a period.

These symptoms can be severe, and the NHS states around one in 20 women will suffer from persistent sadness, extreme anger or very low self-esteem.

But the new finding by researchers at the US-based National Institutes of Health (NiH) gives hope that a cure for the condition could be on the horizon.

cells

“This is a big moment for women's health,” David Goldman, one of the NiH researchers, told The Telegraph.

“It establishes that women have an intrinsic difference in their molecular apparatus for response to sex hormones - not just emotional behaviors they should be able to voluntarily control.”


Read more: Teens in Nepal document the stigma surrounding periods


Researchers at the NiH made the discovery by comparing white blood cells from women who suffer from severe PMT with white blood cells from those who never experience any symptoms. They discovered a set of genes that behaved differently when exposed to an increase of the hormone oestrogen, with cells from PMT sufferers decreasing in activity while cells from non-sufferers were boosted.

They concluded that women with severe PMT were genetically more sensitive to the changes in hormones that occur throughout the monthly cycle than those without PMT, disproving the general belief that the condition is simply due to mood swings.

"Learning more about the role of this gene complex holds hope for improved treatment,” added NiH researcher Dr Peter Schmidt.

Related

rexfeatures_7555154cc.jpg

Katie Piper: “I relied on alcohol to get me through dark times”

Knox-verdict.jpg

Amanda Knox on why innocent women confess to crimes they didn’t commit

kim cattrall main.jpg

Kim Cattrall is on board with the ‘plan your own funeral’ trend

Comments

More

Everything you need to know about growing your own vegetables

(Even if you don't have loads of space)

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Calling all vino fans: are you ready for red wine ice cream?

Ice cream and red wine, together at last…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Letters penned 100 years apart show unchanging attitude to abortion

"I'm in the family way again, and I'm nearly crazy..."

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Woman opens up about having her grandmother as her bridesmaid

“She’s my best friend”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

Artist captures how mental illness feels with sketches of houses

“It belongs to our lives and we must not stigmatise it”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Feb 2017

Pair cheese and wine like a pro with this incredible interactive map

Winchester Aged Gouda with a glass of Amarone della Valpolicella, anyone?

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Elderly woman finds £5 note worth £50k, donates it to “young people”

She’s the hero we need right now, if not the one we deserve.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Watch Emma Watson sing ‘Belle’ in new Beauty and the Beast clip

“There goes the baker with his tray, like always…”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Feb 2017

The worst date I’ve ever witnessed: waiters share their stories

From the toe-curlingly awkward to the jaw-on-floor shocking.

by Moya Crockett
20 Feb 2017

Men open up about “the one that got away” in thought-provoking video

But not all is as it seems…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Feb 2017