Mutations in estrogen receptor alpha and COMT produce abnormal responses to hormones, according to Biological Psychiatry paper.

NIMH researchers report that common variants in the estrogen receptor alpha gene are associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

Previously studies have shown that women with PMDD have an abnormal response to normal hormone levels. In the current study the investigators performed genetic testing and analyses on women with the disorder and healthy control subjects.

The NIMH team say that they found variants in the estrogen receptor alpha gene that are associated with PMDD. They discovered that this association is seen only in women with a variant form of another gene, catechol–o–methyltransferase (COMT), which is involved in regulating the function of the prefrontal cortex.

This article is scheduled for publication in the October 15 issue of Biological Psychiatry.

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