İpek Ayhan1, İlknur Altuntaş1, İlayda Üzümcü1, Oytun Erbaş1,2

1Institute of Experimental Medicine, Gebze-Kocaeli, Turkey
2Department of Physiology, Medical Faculty of Demiroğlu Bilim University, Istanbul, Turkey

Keywords: Brain, GABA, gene polymorphism, hippocampus, mood, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, premenstrual syndrome, serotonin.


Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a disorder in which a set of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms, mostly seen in the late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, disappear with the onset of menstruation. It has a high incidence in society, and it causes problems in a person's daily life. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is diagnosed when symptoms are clinically or socially more severe. Although the exact cause of these disorders is unknown, numerous theories have been proposed, including gonadal hormones, neurotransmitters, central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities, diet, genetic factors, and environmental factors. In this study, current studies on premenstrual disorders and the brain were compiled to shed light on the etiology of PMS. In the light of the literature, a summary of recent studies on the role of neurotransmitters related to PMS, functioning in the CNS, hormonal changes, gray matter, brain resting state, abnormalities in the limbic system, emotion processing and regulation, genetic explanations, nutrition, and alternative medicine has been presented.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.