LOS ANGELES -- Researchers in endocrinology and obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will make several presentations at the upcoming annual meetings of two medical organizations the Androgen Excess Society (June 1, 2007) and the Endocrine Society (June 2-5, 2007).
One key topic will be a gene that appears to play a role in the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder among reproductive-age women.
Women with PCOS have many small cysts on the periphery of the ovaries and suffer from symptoms that include menstrual irregularities, excess weight, skin problems and an excess of male-type hair growth called hirsutism. These women also are often found to have insulin resistance, a condition that allows high levels of insulin to circulate in the blood, which increases risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
PCOS also is associated with excessive levels of androgens male hormones that normally exist at low levels in women. The effects on androgen production by hormones secreted by fat tissue (adipokines) are being studied at Cedars-Sinai, and several researchers will present related findings at the meetings. Researchers also will present preliminary evidence that the level of androgens produced by the adrenal glands of pre-adolescent girls may serve as markers of the risk of PCOS.
Ricardo Azziz, M.D., chairman of Cedars-Sinais Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will open the Androgen Excess Society meeting with a brief history of the study of androgen excess disorders. He is one of the founders of the organization and its executive director. He also serves as director of Cedars-Sinais Center for Androgen Related Disorders (CARD), which offers in-depth testing, comprehensive treatments and support, and research into molecular mechanisms and future therapies for PCOS, androgen excess and related disorders.