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J Affect Disord. 2011 Mar;129(1-3):313-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.07.030. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Association of seasonality and premenstrual symptoms in bipolar I and bipolar II disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.



Although seasonal affective disorder and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are frequently observed in mood disorders, little is known as to whether lifetime traits of seasonality and premenstrual distress are related to bipolar disorder independent of mood episodes. This study aimed at investigating these two cyclic traits with respect to bipolar I and II disorders as well as evaluating the association between them.


Subjects included 61 female patients with bipolar I or II disorders and 122 healthy women. Seasonality and premenstrual symptoms were measured retrospectively on a lifetime basis using the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ) and the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST).


Patients showed higher global seasonality scores on the SPAQ compared to the normal controls. Further, the patient-control difference was more prominent in cases of bipolar II disorder (p<0.0001) than in bipolar I disorder (p=0.001). The prevalence of moderate to severe PMS as indicated on the PSST was also significantly higher in bipolar II disorder patients (51.6%) as compared to controls (19.7%). A significant association between seasonality and PMS was observed in both patient and control groups.


The results suggested that female patients with bipolar disorder experience seasonal and premenstrual changes in mood and behavior regardless of their mood episodes, and traits of seasonality and PMS are associated with each other. A common biological mechanism of these two cyclic conditions may be involved in the development of the cyclicity of bipolar disorder.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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