New theory may revolutionize treatment of endometriosis

 

Vancouver, Canada (May 11, 2021) — Endometriosis, a disease found in up to 10 per cent of women, has been enigmatic since it was first described. A new theory developed by researchers at Simon Fraser University suggests a previously overlooked hormone — testosterone — has a critical role in its development. The research could have direct impacts on diagnosis and treatment of the disease, signaling hope for women with endometriosis worldwide.

The disease is caused by endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus, usually in the pelvic area, where it contributes to pain, inflammation, and infertility. But why some women get it, and others do not, has remained unclear.

The new research is based on recent findings that women with endometriosis developed, as fetuses in their mother’s womb, under conditions of relatively low testosterone, compared to women without endometriosis.

According to the researchers‘ theory, this low testosterone ‚programs‘ the developing reproductive system of women to exhibit the unique suite of traits that is linked with endometriosis, including early menarche, short menstrual cycles, high pain sensitivity, high inflammation, and altered levels of the hormones that control ovulation and the menstrual cycle.

The researchers found their theory to be supported by a remarkable range of data in the literature, from genetics and development to endocrinology, morphology, life history, and evolutionary biology, thus providing the first comprehensive explanation for the traits associated with endometriosis.

The theory can explain almost all symptoms of endometriosis as downstream effects of low early-life testosterone. The findings are presented in two recent papers published in Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, and Evolutionary Applications.

„Low testosterone in early development is the strongest known correlate of endometriosis, and its effects can explain the majority of endometriosis symptoms,“ says SFU biological sciences professor Bernard Crespi, a Canada Research Chair and co-author of the work with graduate student Natalie Dinsdale. „What’s more, the new theory has direct implications for endometriosis diagnosis and treatment.“

Crespi notes that testosterone has apparently been overlooked in studies of endometriosis because it is usually regarded as a ‚male‘ hormone, even though it is known to have key effects in females as well.

„It is very common for researchers to focus on estrogen as a female hormone, and testosterone as a male hormone, but in reality, these are both critically important hormones in all humans,“ says Ben Trumble, an assistant professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University, who was not associated with these studies. „I applaud the authors for moving beyond this binary hormonal blind spot, and studying the full range of steroids that can impact women’s health.“

„This work establishes endometriosis as a developmental endocrine disorder, with roots in early life,“ says Crespi. „It also clarifies the relationship of endometriosis with polycystic ovary syndrome, a disorder driven by too high, rather than too low, levels of prenatal testosterone. We show that polycystic ovary syndrome is essentially opposite to endometriosis in its causes, correlates, and major symptoms. As such, this work should help to transform our understanding of both disorders.“

 

 

 

AVAILABLE SFU EXPERTS

BERNARD CRESPI, professor, biological sciences | bernard_crespi@sfu.ca

 

CONTACT

MATT KIELTYKA, SFU Communications & Marketing
236.880.2187 | matt_kieltyka@sfu.ca

Simon Fraser University
Communications & Marketing | SFU Media Experts Directory
778.782.3210

 

ABOUT SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities–Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey–SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.

 

 


Simon Fraser University, 11.05.2021 (tB).

Schlagwörter: ,

MEDICAL NEWS

New guidance to prevent the tragedy of unrecognized esophageal intubation
Overly restrictive salt intake may worsen outcomes for common form…
COVID-19 vaccines are estimated to have prevanented 20 million deaths…
Novel sleep education learning modules developed for nurse practitioners
Scientists discover how salt in tumours could help diagnose and…

SCHMERZ PAINCARE

Aktuelle Versorgungssituation der Opioidtherapie im Fokus
Individuelle Schmerztherapie mit Opioiden: Patienten im Mittelpunkt
Versorgung verbessern: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schmerzmedizin fordert die Einführung des…
Pflegeexpertise im Fokus: Schmerzmanagement nach Operationen
Versorgung verbessern: Bundesweite Initiative der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Schmerzmedizin zu…

DIABETES

Menschen mit Diabetes während der Corona-Pandemie unterversorgt? Studie zeigt auffällige…
Suliqua® zur Therapieoptimierung bei unzureichender BOT
„Wissen was bei Diabetes zählt: Gesünder unter 7 PLUS“ gibt…
Kaltplasma bei diabetischem Fußsyndrom wirkt via Wachstumsfaktoren
Typ-1-Diabetes: InRange – auf die Zeit im Zielbereich kommt es…

ERNÄHRUNG

Gesunde Ernährung: „Nicht das Salz und nicht das Fett verteufeln“
Mangelernährung gefährdet den Behandlungserfolg — DGEM: Ernährungsscreening sollte zur klinischen…
Wie eine Diät die Darmflora beeinflusst: Krankenhauskeim spielt wichtige Rolle…
DGEM plädiert für Screening und frühzeitige Aufbautherapie: Stationäre COVID-19-Patienten oft…
Führt eine vegane Ernährungsweise zu einer geringeren Knochengesundheit?

ONKOLOGIE

Nahrungsergänzungsmittel während der Krebstherapie: Es braucht mehr Bewusstsein für mögliche…
Fusobakterien und Krebs
Fortgeschrittenes Zervixkarzinom: Pembrolizumab verlängert Leben
Krebspatienten unter Immuntherapie: Kein Hinweis auf erhöhtes Risiko für schwere…
Aktuelle Kongressdaten zum metastasierten Mammakarzinom und kolorektalen Karzinom sowie Neues…

MULTIPLE SKLEROSE

Multiple Sklerose: Analysen aus Münster erhärten Verdacht gegen das Epstein-Barr-Virus
Aktuelle Daten zu Novartis Ofatumumab und Siponimod bestätigen Vorteil des…
Multiple Sklerose durch das Epstein-Barr-Virus – kommt die MS-Impfung?
Neuer Therapieansatz für Multiple Sklerose und Alzheimer
„Ich messe meine Multiple Sklerose selbst!“ – Digitales Selbstmonitoring der…

PARKINSON

Alexa, bekomme ich Parkinson?
Meilenstein in der Parkinson-Frühdiagnose
Parkinson-Erkrankte besonders stark von Covid-19 betroffen
Gangstörungen durch Kleinhirnschädigung beim atypischen Parkinson-Syndrom
Parkinson-Agenda 2030: Die kommenden 10 Jahre sind für die therapeutische…