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Estradiol and progesterone vary along the menstrual cycle and exert opposite effects on a variety of neurotransmitter systems. However, few studies have addressed menstrual cycle-dependent changes in the brain. In the present study we investigate menstrual cycle changes in brain activation and connectivity patterns underlying cognition. Thirty-six naturally cycling women underwent functional MRI during two cognitive tasks: spatial navigation and verbal fluency. While no significant performance differences were observed along the menstrual cycle, the changes in brain activation patterns are strikingly similar during both tasks. Irrespective of the task, estradiol boosts hippocampal activation during the pre-ovulatory cycle phase and progesterone boosts fronto-striatal activation during the luteal cycle phase. Connectivity analyses suggest that the increase in right-hemispheric frontal activation is the result of inter-hemispheric decoupling and is involved in the down-regulation of hippocampal activation.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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The period from onset of one menstrual bleeding (MENSTRUATION) to the next in an ovulating woman or female primate. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the HYPOTHALAMUS; the PITUITARY GLAND; the ovaries; and the genital tract. The menstrual cycle is divided by OVULATION into two phases. Based on the endocrine status of the OVARY, there is a FOLLICULAR PHASE and a LUTEAL PHASE. Based on the response in the ENDOMETRIUM, the menstrual cycle is divided into a proliferative and a secretory phase.
A set of opposing, nonequilibrium reactions catalyzed by different enzymes which act simultaneously, with at least one of the reactions driven by ATP hydrolysis. The results of the cycle are that ATP energy is depleted, heat is produced and no net substrate-to-product conversion is achieved. Examples of substrate cycling are cycling of gluconeogenesis and glycolysis pathways and cycling of the triglycerides and fatty acid pathways. Rates of substrate cycling may be increased many-fold in association with hypermetabolic states resulting from severe burns, cold exposure, hyperthyroidism, or acute exercise.
Abnormal uterine bleeding that is not related to MENSTRUATION, usually in females without regular MENSTRUAL CYCLE. The irregular and unpredictable bleeding usually comes from a dysfunctional ENDOMETRIUM.
An acyclic state that resembles PREGNANCY in that there is no ovarian cycle, ESTROUS CYCLE, or MENSTRUAL CYCLE. Unlike pregnancy, there is no EMBRYO IMPLANTATION. Pseudopregnancy can be experimentally induced to form DECIDUOMA in the UTERUS.
The periodic shedding of the ENDOMETRIUM and associated menstrual bleeding in the MENSTRUAL CYCLE of humans and primates. Menstruation is due to the decline in circulating PROGESTERONE, and occurs at the late LUTEAL PHASE when LUTEOLYSIS of the CORPUS LUTEUM takes place.
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