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Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5 diagnosis characterized by the cyclical emergence of emotional and physical symptoms in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, with symptom remission in the follicular phase. Converging evidence highlights the possibility of distinct subtypes of PMDD with unique pathophysiologies, but temporal subgroups have yet to be explored in a systematic way.
In the current work, we use group-based trajectory modeling to identify unique trajectory subgroups of core emotional and total PMDD symptoms across the perimenstrual frame (days −14 to +9, where day 0 is menstrual onset) in a sample of 74 individuals prospectively diagnosed with DSM-5 PMDD.
For the total daily symptom score, the best-fitting model was comprised of three groups: a group demonstrating moderate symptoms only in the premenstrual week (65%), a group demonstrating severe symptoms across the full 2 weeks of the luteal phase (17.5%), and a group demonstrating severe symptoms in the premenstrual week that were slow to resolve in the follicular phase (17.5%).
These trajectory groups are discussed in the context of the latest work on the pathophysiology of PMDD. Experimental work is needed to test for the presence of possible pathophysiologic differences in trajectory groups, and whether unique treatment approaches are needed.
Individuals with a borderline personality disorder (BPD) suffer from a constellation of rapidly shifting emotional, interpersonal, and behavioral symptoms. The menstrual cycle may contribute to symptom instability among females with this disorder.
Fifteen healthy, unmedicated females with BPD and without dysmenorrhea reported daily symptoms across 35 days. Urine luteinizing hormone and salivary progesterone (P4) were used to confirm ovulation and cycle phase. Cyclical worsening of symptoms was evaluated using (1) phase contrasts in multilevel models and (2) the Carolina Premenstrual Assessment Scoring System (C-PASS), a protocol for evaluating clinically significant cycle effects on symptoms.
Most symptoms demonstrated midluteal worsening, a perimenstrual peak, and resolution of symptoms in the follicular or ovulatory phase. Post-hoc correlations with person-centered progesterone revealed negative correlations with most symptoms. Depressive symptoms showed an unexpected delayed pattern in which baseline levels of symptoms were observed in the ovulatory and midluteal phases, and exacerbations were observed during both the perimenstrual and follicular phases. The majority of participants met C-PASS criteria for clinically significant (⩾30%) symptom exacerbation. All participants met the emotional instability criterion of BPD, and no participant met DSM-5 criteria for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Females with BPD may be at elevated risk for perimenstrual worsening of emotional symptoms. Longitudinal studies with fine-grained hormonal measurement as well as hormonal experiments are needed to determine the pathophysiology of perimenstrual exacerbation in BPD.
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