Endometriosis a little less mysterious


New research has found two genetic variants that are related to developing endometriosis. It’s the first time the cause of this debilitating disease has been recognized. The breakthrough research is published in Nature Genetics and comes from a team of researchers out of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics and the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Oxford; the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Australia; and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA.

Endometriosis affects six to ten percent of all women. It can be mild and unrecognizable or extremely painful and leave a woman infertile. It is characterized by an unexplainable growth of uteran cells around the outside of the reproductive organs and sometimes the intestines. Why the cells develop and thrive is just as mysterious as how they get there in the first place.

Now there may be a clue.

“Our study is breakthrough because it provides the first strong evidence that variations in DNA make some women more likely to develop endometriosis,” says Dr. Zondervan of the University of Oxford. “We now need to understand the effect of these variations on cells and molecules in the body.”

Additionally Dr. Stephen Kennedy, Head of the Nuffield department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology said, “We have great confidence that the results of this study will help towards developing less invasive methods of diagnosis and more effective treatments for endometriosis.”

Source: Wellcome Trust, ScienceDaily


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