Cause of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Discoveredadmin
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. Caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, PCOS also impacts the metabolism, making it difficult for some sufferers to lose weight. It is also a common and treatable cause of infertility.
“It’s by far the most common hormonal condition affecting women of reproductive age but it hasn’t received a lot of attention,” Rob Norman, a professor of reproductive and periconceptual medicine at the University of Adelaide said. Until now.
While the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, experts had previously thought high levels of androgens (which control the development of male traits) and insulin were to blame. Now, however, researchers at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research led by Paolo Giacobini have found that the syndrome may actually be triggered before birth by excess exposure in the womb to a hormone called the anti-Müllerian hormone New Scientist reports.
The researchers injected pregnant mice with excess anti-Müllerian hormone and monitored their offspring to see if the exposure to the hormone in utero would affect them. The researchers found that the female offspring did in fact exhibit hallmarks of PCOS, experiencing delayed puberty, infrequent ovulation, delays in their own pregnancies, and fewer offspring. The team then went even further, reversing the effects by administering cetrorelix, an IVF drug routinely given to women to control their hormones. After treatment, the mice stopped showing symptoms. The team hopes to begin testing this treatment of women with the condition before the end of the year.
“It’s a radical new way of thinking about polycystic ovary syndrome and opens up a whole range of opportunities for further investigation,” Norman said.