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Participants Recruited For NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Study On Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

November 5th, 2022 by Health Care


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center is recruiting participants for a multicenter study into a new treatment approach for premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe and debilitating form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects up to 8 percent of women.

The current standard practice for treating PMDD is anti-depressants taken either every day or for half of the menstrual cycle (14-16 days). The goal of the new study is to see if patients can feel better by taking the medication only on the days that they experience symptoms. For the majority of PMDD sufferers, that is about six days. Advantages may include fewer possible side effects and a lower cost.

The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Margaret Altemus, associate professor of psychiatry and associate professor of psychiatry in complementary and integrative medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, says study participants will take the anti-depressant sertraline for six menstrual cycles, taking it only on symptomatic days, or will receive a placebo on those days. The goal is to enroll 300 women between the three sites — NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, Virginia Commonwealth University and Yale University. The study is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“While it is common to trivialize premenstrual disturbances such as PMDD, the illness is serious for the women who are afflicted,” says Dr. Altemus.

She explains that such patients experience at least one mood symptom, such as anger, depression, mood swings, irritability, anxiety and feelings that life is not worth living. These symptoms, which occur only premenstrually, are often accompanied by changes in sleep and appetite, changes in energy, impaired concentration, breast pain and bloating — all of which can be severe and lead to disturbances in functioning at home or at work.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Weill Cornell Medical College. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is ranked sixth on the U.S.News & World Report’s list of top hospitals, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. For more information, visit .

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