According to a new study, polycystic ovarian syndrome can be traced to an imbalance of hormones in the brain, not just the ovaries. Read on to learn more.
Contrary to what is previously known about PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), a new study is claiming that the condition is triggered by a hormonal imbalance originating from a cerebral level and not simply from within the ovaries.
Though further studies need to be conducted to establish this claim, this new finding may cause changes in the way medical practitioners deal with the condition, which affects one in 10 women worldwide, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Symptoms of PCOS range from painful periods, ovulation problems, ovarian cysts. It also increases the risk of infertility.
Here are some key takeaways from the study:
1. The target of PCOS treatment can be shifted from the ovary to the brain
"For the first time we have a new direction of where we should be looking to try and develop treatments that will treat the cause of PCOS, the androgen excess in the ovary but also in the brain," the study's lead author Kirsty Walters explained to Science Alert.
2. A spike in androgen hormones in the brain can lead to PCOS
Though androgens, like testosterone, are known as "male hormones", a woman's body also produces this hormone. Its main purpose, however, is to be later coverted to estrogen.
An increase in androgens in the ovaries has been found to lead to PCOS, but now excess androgen in the brain is also being linked to the condition. Cerebral androgen activity can cause PCOS, the study claims.
Though more studies need to be conducted to fully understand how this could affect and enhance current treatment options for women suffering from the condition, this certainly sets PCOS management off in new and promising direction.
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