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. 2018 Feb;88:105-114.
doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.11.015. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Reproductive Steroids and ADHD Symptoms Across the Menstrual Cycle

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Free PMC article

Reproductive Steroids and ADHD Symptoms Across the Menstrual Cycle

Bethan Roberts et al. Psychoneuroendocrinology. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Although Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder shows (ADHD) male predominance, females are significantly impaired and exhibit additional comorbid disorders during adolescence. However, no empirical work has examined the influence of cyclical fluctuating steroids on ADHD symptoms in women. The present study examined estradiol (E2), progesterone (P4), and testosterone (T) associations with ADHD symptoms across the menstrual cycle in regularly-cycling young women (N=32), examining trait impulsivity as a moderator. Women completed a baseline measure of trait impulsivity, provided saliva samples each morning, and completed an ADHD symptom checklist every evening for 35days. Results indicated decreased levels of E2 in the context of increased levels of either P4 or T was associated with higher ADHD symptoms on the following day, particularly for those with high trait impulsivity. Phase analyses suggested both an early follicular and early luteal, or post-ovulatory, increase in ADHD symptoms. Therefore, ADHD symptoms may change across the menstrual cycle in response to endogenous steroid changes.

Keywords: ADHD; Estradiol; Progesterone; Reproductive steroid hormones; Testosterone.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of interest: none

All co-authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript and there is no financial interest to report or conflicts of interest. We certify that the submission meets the guidelines for ethical conduct and report of research, is original work, and is not under review at any other journal.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Moderating Influence of Sensation Seeking on (A) the Effect of Testosterone and (B) the Interactive Effect of Estradiol and Testosterone on Daily ADHD Symptoms
Figure 2
Figure 2
Moderating Influence of Negative Urgency (A), Positive Urgency (B), and Sensation Seeking (C) on the Interactive Effect of E2 and P4 on Daily Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD Symptoms.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Moderating Influence of Negative Urgency (A), Positive Urgency (B), and Sensation Seeking (C) on the Interactive Effect of E2 and P4 on Daily Inattentive ADHD Symptoms
Figure 4
Figure 4
Means plots illustrating the interactive effects of estradiol with testosterone and progesterone in predicting inattentive symptoms across the menstrual cycle among women high (A) and low (B) in sensation seeking.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Smoothed means plots illustrating the effects of testosterone among women high in sensation seeking (A) and the interactive effects of estradiol with progesterone in predicting hyperactive/impulsive symptoms across the menstrual cycle among women high in negative urgency (B).

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