By Dr. Brian McDonough

Philadelphia (CBS) — Can the menstrual cycle affect a woman’s emotions?

Researchers used MRIs to study the brains of women who viewed a series of pictures and rated them as pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. This test was repeated at different stages of the women’s menstrual cycles. Hormone levels at certain phases of the menstrual cycle affected women’s emotional responses.

During the midpoint of their menstrual cycle, when hormone levels were higher, the women had increased activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex and other areas of the brain involved in processing emotional information.

This is important because treatment plans can be based on hormones and responses to them.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Reporter

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