Is the end of PMT in sight?

New discovery could spell the end of pre-menstrual tension

A new breakthrough by scientists could spell the end of pre-menstrual tension, and help those suffering from epilepsy.

The actual research is worthy of those with a medical degree, but essentially scientists have discovered a receptor or ‘switch’ in the brain which is not only affected by these two afflictions, but also might account for how we behave when we’ve been drinking.

The hope is that with further research, scientists may work out how to block or stimulate the switch, and, therefore, control the symptoms.

So far, studies have only taken place on rats, but there is hope that human trials could take place in the future.

‘It’s a long jump between rats and humans,’ notes Dr Mike Edwardson, who led the international research team, ‘but if we can make it, and a similar thing occurs in humans before menstruation, changes in the level of this receptor could contribute to PMT.

‘This type of GABA receptor plays a crucial role in the body’s response to a range of stimuli. Scientists think that when there is a problem in the signalling, conditions such as epilepsy and PMT can occur.’

Professor Nigel Brown, from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council who funded the study, adds: ‘If we learn the detailed mechanisms by which the body functions, medical scientists and the pharmaceutical industry can develop treatments to intervene when it goes wrong.’

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