Navigation Links
Menstrual Cramps May Alter Women's Brains
Date:8/11/2010

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Menstrual cramps are often dismissed as a mere nuisance, but new research suggests the monthly misery may be altering women's brains.

Researchers in Taiwan used a type of brain scan known as optimized voxel-based morphometry to analyze the anatomy of the brains of 32 young women who reported experiencing moderate to severe menstrual cramps on a regular basis for several years, and 32 young women who did not experience much menstrual pain.

Even when they weren't experiencing pain, women who had reported having bad cramps had abnormalities in their gray matter (a type of brain tissue), said study author Dr. Jen-Chuen Hsieh, a professor of neuroscience at the Institute of Brain Science at National Yang-Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan.

Those differences included abnormal decreases in volume in regions of the brain believed to be involved in pain processing, higher-level sensory processing and emotional regulation, as well as increases in regions involved in pain modulation and regulation of endocrine function.

Exactly how the changes in the brain could affect women's experience of pain is unknown, researchers said. But the brain abnormalities suggest that menstrual pain may have similarities with other chronic pain conditions in that over time, repeated bouts of excruciating aches make the brain unusually sensitive to pain -- in effect, making the experience of pain worse.

"A long-term bombardment by peripheral pain can elicit plastic changes in the central brain as a reactive adaptation," Hsieh explained. "It can also be a crucial mechanism that perpetuates the 'chronification' of pain" -- that is, a mechanism that can turn pain into a lingering affliction.

The study is published in the September issue of PAIN.

Menstrual cramps, or pain in the lower abdomen that occurs when the uterus contracts during menstruation, is the most common gynecological disorder in women of childbearing age, according to background information in the article.

Karen J. Berkley, a professor emeritus of neuroscience and psychology at Florida State University, said menstrual pain is too often not taken seriously.

"This is one of the first groups to call attention to menstrual cramps, the fact that the condition can have an impact on women's lives, and it's accompanied by changes in brain anatomy and function," Berkley said.

Previously, the Taiwanese team reported that women suffering from menstrual cramps also have differences in brain activity as seen by positron emission tomography, another type of brain scan.

"Taken together, those two studies point to the fact that this continual cyclical pain in women is not unimportant," Berkley said. "

More information

The Center for Young Women's Health has more on menstrual pain.

SOURCES: Jen-Chuen Hsieh, M.D, Ph.D, professor, Institute of Brain Science, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan; Karen J. Berkley, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Program in Neuroscience/Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla.; PAIN, September 2010.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Menstrual cramps may alter brain structure
2. Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With Menstrual Cycle
3. Interruption of Menstrual Cycle by Chemotherapy Associated with Improved Survival in Early Breast Cancer
4. Menstrual Cramps May Be Helped by New Drug
5. Study finds structural brain alterations in patients with irritable bowel syndrome
6. Those To-Die-For High Heels May Alter Anatomy
7. Study shows that major Alzheimers risk gene causes alterations in shapes of brain protein deposits
8. A high-fat diet alters crucial aspects of brain dopamine signaling
9. Los Angeles Alternative Fuel & Auto Expert Available To Speak About Significance of BP Oil Spill
10. Alternative Menopause Treatments, Discussed by Dr. Ershadi
11. Rich Vitamins Proves Taking Vitamins Doesn't Have to be a Pill with New alternaVites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Menstrual Cramps May Alter Women's Brains
(Date:10/13/2017)... Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... movement in medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling ... research partners. , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... LEXINGTON, Ky. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... MD, MPH to become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James ... and CEO Elect beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil ... required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel ... also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance ... care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive ... the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... --  West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), a ... today shared the results of a study highlighting the ... administration of polio vaccines. The study results were presented ... by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials and ... and recently published in the journal Vaccine. i ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... Oct. 5, 2017  In response to the ... and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that ... be used as a first-line therapy to manage ... Recognizing the value and ... Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for ... the end of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... Westchester, NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the ... as mandated by certain health insurance regulations. ... The best time to get a flu shot is by the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: