PMID: 20833433;PMCID: PMC2994967;Abstract:
Background: Pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a dysphoric form of pre-menstrual syndrome, is included as a diagnosis for further study in the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000). The present study investigated whether a marker of risk for major depressive disorder (MDD), prefrontal brain asymmetry, also characterizes women with PMDD. Methods: In a sample of 25 college women with PMDD symptomatology and 25 matched controls, resting frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity was assessed on four occasions within a two-week span. Results: Across several frontal sites women with PMDD had relatively less left than right prefrontal brain activity, consistent with a diathesis-stress model for menstrual-related dysphoria. Conclusions: The findings suggest an overlap in the risk profile for MDD and PMDD. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Two studies have examined whether there exists a relationship between resting frontal alpha asymmetry and the Behavioral Inhibition and Activation Scales (C. S. Carver & T. L. White, 1994), which are based on Gray's Behavioral Inhibition and Behavioral Activation Systems. Findings suggest that greater relative left frontal activity characterizes individuals higher in self-reported behavioral activation sensitivity (E. Harmon-Jones & J. J. B. Allen, 1997; S. K. Sutton & R. J. Davidson, 1997), and, in one instance, lower behavioral inhibition sensitivity (S. K. Sutton & R. J. Davidson, 1997). In the present study, relatively greater left frontal activity correlated positively with behavioral activation scores. No significant relationship between resting frontal alpha asymmetry and the behavioral inhibition score emerged. These data suggest that relatively greater left frontal activity is indeed an index of approach oriented, appetitive motivational tendencies, whereas the relationship between relative right frontal activity and the behavioral inhibition system is likely to be complex and not accounted for by behavioral withdrawal alone.
Two studies of the relationship between depression and resting frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity are reported. Although considerable research supports the theory of left and right hemispheric specialization for approach and withdrawal behaviors, only four studies involving clinically depressed individuals have been published to date. Despite methodological similarities with published research, no significant differences in frontal activation emerged between depressed and nondepressed participants with either college students having high Beck Depression Inventory scores (Study 1) or with individuals diagnosed with DSM-III-R depression (Study 2). Post hoc analyses in Study 2 revealed one effect confined to lateral frontal leads during the first 2 min of EEG data; this finding was significant in only one of three reference montages. Results are discussed in light of methodological considerations and mediating variables such as temperament and coping styles.