Menstrual Cycle Phase Modulates Emotional Conflict Processing in Women with and without Premenstrual Syndrome PMS – A Pilot StudyReport as inadecuate




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Background

Premenstrual syndrome PMS is characterized by a cluster of psychological and somatic symptoms during the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle that disappear after the onset of menses. Behavioral differences in emotional and cognitive processing have been reported in women with PMS, and it is of particular interest whether PMS affects the parallel execution of emotional and cognitive processing. Related to this is the question of how the performance of women with PMS relates to stress levels compared to women without PMS. Cortisol has been shown to affect emotional processing in general and it has also been shown that women with severe PMS have a particular cortisol profile.

Methods

We measured performance in an emotional conflict task and stress levels in women with PMS n = 15 and women without PMS n = 15 throughout their menstrual cycle.

Results

We found a significant increase p = 0.001 in the mean reaction time for resolving emotional conflict from the follicular to the luteal cycle phase in all subjects. Only women with PMS demonstrated an increase in physiological and subjective stress measures during the luteal menstrual cycle phase.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the menstrual cycle modulates the integration of emotional and cognitive processing in all women. Preliminary data are supportive of the secondary hypothesis that stress levels are mediated by the menstrual cycle phase only in women with PMS. The presented evidence for menstrual cycle-specific differences in integrating emotional and cognitive information highlights the importance of controlling for menstrual cycle phase in studies that aim to elucidate the interplay of emotion and cognition.



Author: Jana Hoyer, Inga Burmann, Marie-Luise Kieseler, Florian Vollrath, Lydia Hellrung, Katrin Arelin, Elisabeth Roggenhofer, Arno Vill

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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