Childhood abuse may impair weight-regulating hormones

Childhood abuse or neglect can lead to long-term hormone impairment that raises the risk of developing obesity, diabetes or other metabolic disorders in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).The study examined levels of the weight-regulating hormones leptin, adiponectin and irisin in the blood of adults who endured physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect as children. Leptin is involved in regulating appetite and is linked to body-mass index (BMI) and fat mass. The hormone irisin is involved in energy metabolism. Adiponectin reduces inflammation in the body, and obese people tend to have lower levels of the hormone. The study found dysregulation of these hormones in people who had been abused or neglected as children.”This study helps illuminate why people who have dealt with childhood adversity face a higher risk of developing excess belly fat and related health conditions,” said one of the study’s authors, Christos S. Mantzoros, MD, DSc, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System, both affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. “The data suggest that childhood adversity places stress on the endocrine system, leading to impairment of important hormones that can contribute to abdominal obesity well into adulthood.”The cross-sectional study examined hormone levels in the blood of 95 adults ages 35 to 65. Using questionnaires and interviews, each participant was assigned a score based on the severity of the abuse or neglect experienced during childhood. Researchers divided the participants into three groups and compared hormone levels in people with the highest adversity scores to the other two-thirds of the participants.Participants with the highest adversity scores tended to have higher levels of leptin, irisin and the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein in their blood. All of these markers are linked to obesity. …

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Advantages of minimally invasive surgery to treat hyperparathyroidism

Oct. 16, 2013 — An open surgical procedure called bilateral neck exploration (BNE) has been the gold standard operation for treating patients with primary hyperparathyroidism. But the development of a minimally invasive procedure to remove the parathyroid gland now offers a new option. A study designed to compare cure rates, postoperative pain, cosmetic satisfaction, and length of the procedure and of the hospital stay for patients with hyperparathyroidism who underwent BNE versus minimally invasive video-assisted (MIVAP) parathyroidectomy will be presented in a poster at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the American Thyroid Association, October 16-20, 2013, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Share This:Youben Fan, from Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital, Shanghai, China, reports no difference in cure rates between the two approaches, or in the frequency with which treated patients have persistent or recurrent hyperparathyroidism. MIVAP demonstrated several advantages compared to BNE, including a lower incidence of early severe hypocalcemia, a higher cosmetic satisfaction rate, shorter operations, less postoperative pain, and shorter hospital stays. These findings are presented in the poster entitled “Minimally Invasive Video-assisted Parathyroidectomy Compared with the Conventional Open Operation for Primary Hyperparathyroidism: A Randomized Controlled Trial.””Primary hyperparathyroidism is a common condition for which parathyroidectomy is curative,” says Julie Ann Sosa, MD, Program Committee Co-Chair; Professor of Surgery and Medicine, Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery, and Director of Health Services Research, Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine; and Leader, Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group, Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, NC.”While bilateral neck exploration has been the traditional approach, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy has emerged as an alternative technique associated with improved patient outcomes, largely based on retrospective, single institution or surgeon clinical series. This report is potentially exciting because it represents a randomized controlled trial and specifically looks at minimally invasive, video-assisted parathyroidectomy as compared to traditional open parathyroidectomy.Share this story on Facebook, Twitter, and Google:Other social bookmarking and sharing tools:|Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by American Thyroid Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above. Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? …

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Irregular periods in young women can be cause for concern

Sep. 10, 2013 — While irregular periods are common among teenage girls, an underlying hormonal disorder may be to blame if this problem persists.Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disorder that is characterized by an excess of androgens or male hormones in the body. The imbalance of hormones interferes with the growth and release of eggs from the ovaries, which can prevent ovulation and menstruation.Menstruation begins on average at age 12, and a normal menstrual cycle is approximately 28 days. Dr. Kavic reports that girls should have a regular menstrual cycle within approximately two years after they get their first period or by age 17 at the latest.”PCOS can be overlooked because irregular periods are normal in teens,” said Suzanne Kavic, MD, division director, Reproductive Endocrinology, Loyola University Health System (LUHS). “However, if erratic menstrual cycles persist later into the teen years, girls should see a specialist to determine if something else might be causing this issue.”Other symptoms associated with PCOS can include weight gain, hair growth on the body and face, thinning of the hair on the head, acne and infertility. Women with PCOS are at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and endometrial cancer. People with PCOS also tend to become resistant to insulin, which can lead to diabetes.”Symptoms associated with this syndrome can be concerning to young girls particularly during the teen years, which is already a stressful time,” Dr. Kavic said. “The good news is we can identify PCOS at an early age and begin managing symptoms to alleviate some of the anxiety for these girls.”Treatments for PCOS can include a combination of exercise, diet modifications and medication. …

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Appetite hormone misfires in obese people

Aug. 20, 2013 — Glucagon, a hormone involved in regulating appetite, loses its ability to help obese people feel full after a meal, but it continues to suppress hunger pangs in people with type 1 diabetes, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).The primary role of glucagon, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, is to signal the body to release stored glucose when blood sugar falls too low. But growing evidence suggests the hormone also may play a role in controlling food intake and feelings of fullness, or satiation, through signaling the body to reduce levels of other appetite hormones like ghrelin.”Once a person becomes obese, glucagon no longer induces feelings of fullness,” said the study’s lead author, Ayman M. Arafat, MD, of Charité-University Medicine in Berlin, Germany. “Further research is needed to determine why glucagon no longer suppresses appetite effectively in this population, even though they are otherwise healthy.”The prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study investigated glucagon levels and appetite among 11 obese people, 13 people with type 1 diabetes and 13 lean people. Participants received injections of either glucagon or a placebo. Researchers then measured participants’ appetites using a satiety scale as well as levels of the appetite hormone ghrelin.Feelings of fullness did not differ between obese study participants who received glucagon injections and those who were given the placebo. In comparison, participants who were lean or had type 1 diabetes reported feeling significantly more full after receiving glucagon. The response to the hormone was detectable in this population, even 24 hours after it was administered.”The findings could influence efforts to develop new treatments for obesity and diabetes,” Arafat said. “Although therapeutic agents that influence glucagon and other hormones currently are considered a promising avenue for research, this study suggests a treatment involving glucagon may be ineffective in controlling meal size in people who are obese.”Other researchers working on the study include: M. …

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Fetal stress disrupts the way genes are transmitted

Aug. 1, 2013 — If you think stress is killing you, you may be right, but what you don’t know is that stress might have harmed your health even before you were born. In a new report appearing in the August 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, Harvard researchers find that epigenetic disruptions, which are associated with chronic disease later in life, are already common at birth. Possibly, these aberrations result from stressors in the intrauterine environment (e.g. maternal smoking, maternal diet, or high levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals). This finding supports the belief that seeds of disease are sown before birth, increasing the importance of optimal prenatal care.Share This:”This study may help us understand whether epigenetic mechanisms contribute to chronic disease susceptibility already prior to birth,” said Karin Michels, Sc.D., Ph.D., study author from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass. “We are currently exploring which stressors during prenatal life may contribute to these epigenetic disruptions.”To make this discovery, Michels and colleagues examined the expression pattern of imprinted genes important for growth and development. Researchers analyzed the parental expression pattern in the cord blood and placenta of more than 100 infants and followed up this analysis with methylation and expression studies. The results lent credence to the emerging theme that susceptibility to disease may indeed originate in utero. Additionally, this research showed that a high degree of disruption occurred during the imprinting of a gene called IGF2, which was expressed from both alleles in the cord blood of 22 percent of study subjects. …

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Preventing eggs’ death from chemotherapy: Scientists discover cause of immature eggs’ death from cancer drug and how to prevent it

June 17, 2013 — Young women who have cancer treatment often lose their fertility because chemotherapy and radiation can damage or kill their immature ovarian eggs, called oocytes. Now, Northwestern Medicine® scientists have found the molecular pathway that can prevent the death of immature ovarian eggs due to chemotherapy, potentially preserving fertility and endocrine function.Scientists achieved this in female mice by adding a currently approved chemotherapy drug, imatinib mesylate, to another chemotherapy drug cisplatin.The results will be presented Monday, June 17, at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.”This research advances the efforts to find a medical treatment to protect the fertility and hormone health of girls and young women during cancer treatment, ” said So-Youn Kim, the lead investigator and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Teresa Woodruff, chief of fertility preservation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.Adding imatinib mesylate to the drug cisplatin blocks the action of a protein that triggers a cascade of events resulting in death of the immature eggs. Kim discovered the protein that triggers the oocyte’s ultimate death is Tap63.Previous research suggested that imatinib is a fertility-protecting drug against cisplatin, but reports of the drug’s effectiveness have been contradictory, Kim said. Her research confirms its effectiveness in an animal model.She is currently testing imatinib with other chemotherapy agents to see if it also protects fertility in combination with them.To demonstrate that imatinib protects oocytes against cisplatin, Kim and colleagues cultured ovaries (containing the immature eggs) from five-day-old mice with imatinib and cisplatin for 96 hours. The ovaries were then placed in a kidney capsule in the host mice to keep the ovaries alive. Two weeks later, the immature eggs were still alive. The imatinib did not block cisplatin-induced DNA damage, but Kim believes the eggs may recover and repair the damage over time.”Previous reports have shown that chemotherapy and radiation-treated oocytes are able to recover from DNA damage,” Kim said.

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Adolescents’ high-fat diet impairs memory and learning

June 17, 2013 — A high-fat diet in adolescence appears to have long-lasting effects on learning and memory during adulthood, a new study in mice finds. The results were presented Saturday at The Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.Adolescent mice fed a normal-calorie but high-fat diet became moderately obese but not diabetic, and they displayed significantly impaired spatial memory, according to the study authors, from CEU-San Pablo University (Universidad CEU-San Pablo) in Madrid. Spatial memory allows recording of information needed to navigate in a familiar environment and is pivotal for learning, said the lead author, Mariano Ruiz-Gayo, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at the university.Adult mice that received the same diet had intact performance on memory tasks, showing that, unlike the adolescents, they were not sensitive to the effects of the fatty diet, he reported.”This study shows that normocaloric diets containing high amounts of saturated fat might have deleterious and long-lasting effects on the developing brain, even in the absence of apparent diabetes,” Ruiz-Gayo said.In their study, the investigators gave 15 male adolescent mice an eight-week, high-fat diet in which 45 percent of the calories came from unhealthy, saturated fat. Another 15 male mice received a conventional diet with the same number of calories (the control group). A similar study was carried out in adult mice so the researchers could test the effects of a high-fat diet starting later in life.To test the rodents’ spatial memory, the researchers used the novel location recognition test. In this test, the mice were placed in an open-field box — an open but walled box with a single chamber — containing two objects, plastic toy (Lego) pieces. The mice were already familiar with the box and one of the objects, but the other object was new to them. The mice explored the box for 10 minutes initially. One hour and 24 hours later, the mice returned to the box, where each time the new object was in a different position. The researchers recorded how long it took the rodents to find the new object.The scientists found that it took mice significantly longer to find the new object if they had received the high-fat diet when their brains were immature. …

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