Neuroticism-related personality traits are related to symptom severity in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder and to the serotonin transporter gene-linked polymorphism 5-HTTPLPR

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2010 Oct;13(5):417-23. doi: 10.1007/s00737-010-0164-4. Epub 2010 May 4.


Neuroticism has been linked to a functional polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR), with short-allele carriers being overrepresented among high-scorers on neuroticism. Studies evaluating neuroticism-related personality traits in relation to the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism among patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and are lacking. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PMDD and neuroticism-related personality traits, and secondly, to relate the personality trait scores of PMDD patients to experienced symptom severity and to the 5-HTTLPR short allele. Thirty PMDD patients and 55 asymptomatic healthy controls were included in the study. The Swedish Universities Scale of Personality was used to evaluate personality traits. Genotype analyses were available in 27 PMDD patients and 18 healthy controls. Women with PMDD displayed higher levels of neuroticism-related personality traits (psychic trait anxiety, somatic trait anxiety, embitterment, stress susceptibility and mistrust) than healthy controls, and these effects were most prominent in women with more severe luteal phase symptoms. Furthermore, PMDD patients with at least one copy of the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism scored higher on psychic trait anxiety and lack of assertiveness than PMDD patients who were homozygous for the long allele. PMDD patients who suffer from more severe luteal phase symptoms also display increased scores of neuroticism-related personality traits in comparison with healthy controls. Within the group of PMDD patients, differences in certain personality trait scores are associated with the short allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alleles
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / psychology*
  • Genetic Testing / psychology*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Irritable Mood
  • Luteal Phase / genetics
  • Luteal Phase / psychology
  • Marital Status
  • Neurotic Disorders / genetics
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Personality / genetics*
  • Personality Tests
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Premenstrual Syndrome* / genetics
  • Premenstrual Syndrome* / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins* / analysis
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins* / genetics
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • SLC6A4 protein, human
  • Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins