Maudsley Hospital, London.
The association of a recurrent psychosis in the premenstrual period with an increased blink rate is reported. This case adds to evidence supporting a hormonal hypothesis of certain psychotic disorders.
Lower Brockington Farm, Bredenbury, Bromyard, HR7 4TE Herefordshire, UK.
This paper reviews the literature on menstrual psychosis and proposes a new classification, adapting that of v. Krafft-Ebing (1902) and Jolly (1914). The world literature consists mainly of case reports; they include a few with data good enough for a statistical demonstration of the link between onset and menses. These well-documented cases include examples of pre-menstrual, catamenial, paramenstrual and mid-cycle onsets, and continuous illnesses with phasic shifts rhythmic with the menstrual cycle. In sufferers, episodes seem to be concentrated around the menarche and after childbirth. The clinical picture resembles that of puerperal psychosis, and there are at least 20 women who have suffered both psychoses at different epochs in their lives. Both seem to fall within the manic depressive rubric, so that menstruation can be another trigger of a bipolar episode. Some work suggests an association with anovulatory cycles. Cases starting before the menarche suggest a diencephalic origin.
1st Psychiatric Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, email@example.com
There are several reports of periodic psychotic disorders that appear in connection with the various phases of the menstrual cycle. Although the pathogenesis of menstrual psychosis has not been systematically investigated, it appears that it might be linked to an estrogen cascade that follows a period of sustained high estrogen levels, as in the case in anovulatory cycles. We present a case of psychosis associated with the menstrual cycle in a patient with polycystic ovary syndrome, a disorder typically characterized by anovulatory cycles, in whom the restoration of normal menstruation with use of metformine led to significant improvement of psychotic symptoms.
University of Birmingham, Lower Brockington Farm, Bredenbury, Bromyard, Herefordshire, United Kingdom. firstname.lastname@example.org
The literature on menstrual psychosis is briefly reviewed in this article. There are about 80 cases with substantial evidence, and about 200 other possible cases. The clinical features are generally those of manic depressive (bipolar) disorder. The diagnosis requires the accurate dating of the onsets of episodes and of menstrual bleeding. Obtaining a baseline of several carefully dated episodes is also important in finding the best way to arrest the periodic illness. Although conventional psychotropic drugs can shorten episodes, they do not prevent recurrences. For this, unconventional treatments appear to be more effective, especially thyroid hormone and clomiphene. Patients with menstrual psychosis usually have abnormal menstruation, such as anovulatory cycles, luteal defects, or periods of amenorrhea. This, and the occurrence of episodes before the menarche, suggests that the interaction between the bipolar diathesis and menstruation is in the hypothalamus.