Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Leisel Kurtenbach, 50, knew there was something wrong going on in her body. She just didn't know what.
She was 32 then, and four years of medical testing later her doctor discovered that she had Cushing's Syndrome, and that a tumor was growing on her pituitary gland. The initial plan was to go in for surgery and get it removed. But Kurtenbach had a stroke in the days leading up to it.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
In 1948, Edward Kendall and Philip Hench created the first of the many “miracle drugs," which were actually synthesized hormones, to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. Hench and Kendall, who each headed a medical department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., realized that the adrenal glands play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis. The two noticed that a woman with rheumatoid arthritis had a lessening of symptoms while she was pregnant, and they worked to discover what caused the change. They were able to isolate a hormone in the cortex, or outer part, of the adrenal glands, which they called cortisone.
On Sept. 21, 1948, Hench administered a synthesized version of cortisone developed by Kendall to a patient with arthritis. The two researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1950 for their achievements.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sharmyn McGraw writes:
Hey Everyone!!! I’d like to invite all of you to help me spread the word about our Hormonal & Pituitary Health Symposium Oct. 22, 2011, Santa Monica CA. It’s free and a continental breakfast and box lunch is included and the best part is hearing from our team of neuroendocrine experts and meeting many new friends. To register and for a copy of the events schedule www.brain-tumor.org or call Pat Fitzwater at (805) 300-9154 I hope to see many of you there!
Peace and great health all!
Learn about your Master Gland
This symposium aims to educate patients, their families and the public about the importance of the "Master Gland" in health and in illness.
Topics covered will include: the basics of pituitary gland function and malfunction; signs, symptoms and treatment of hormonal excess and hormonal deficiency; epidemiology of pituitary adenomas and related brain tumors; treatment options for pituitary tumors (acromegaly, Cushing's disease, prolactinoma and non-functional adenomas, craniopharyngioma) including endonasal endoscopic surgery, radiotherapy and non-surgical therapies.
Additional topics will include optimizing your access to care, insurance issues and finding the appropriate pituitary specialists, as well as information about clinical trials in pituitary hormonal disorders
Cushing's disease is a rare but sometimes fatal hormonal disorder that has few treatment options. Researchers in Los Angeles are using a very unusual little fish to try to find help for people who suffer with the disease.
These tiny tropical striped fish could hold the key to curing the hormonal disorder called Cushing's disease.
Dr. Shlomo Melmed says, "The genetic makeup of zebra fish and our genetic makeup are remarkably similar with very few differences."
In people with Cushing's, a tumor on the pituitary gland causes it to produce too much of the hormone cortisol. That affects blood pressure and metabolism and can lead to diabetes, heart disease and sometimes death.
In the Cedars Sinai lab they're using zebra fish to test up to 300 drugs each week that could fight the tumors. Researchers are able to watch the fish from the first cell of growth.
Dr. Liu says, "The beauty of zebra fish embryos is they're transparent and as we introduce these florescent markers we can follow them."
Green markers show normal pituitary gland growth, and red indicates the tumor. Researchers can then watch how drugs affect tumor growth.
Only about 1 in a 100,000 people suffer with Cushing's disease and almost all of them are women.
Symptoms include a puffy face, sudden weight gain, skin changes and irritability.
Dr. Melmed says, "Our goal is to discover a medical therapy for Cushing's disease a medical therapy to control the tumor growth."
With no drug treatments available for Cushing's, Cedars Sinai scientists hope their research will lead to new options.
More on zebrafish and Cushing's
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Erin Kelley (erinmk1981 on the message boards) was diagnosed with Cushing's Syndrome, which is a pituitary gland tumor. She was treated with a simple endonasal, skull-base surgery by specialists here at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
Erin discusses the challenges associated with Cushing's, and what her experience was like here at Barnes-Jewish.For more information on Cushing's treatment, please visit http://www.barnesjewish.org/neurosciences/pituitary-tumors-treatment
Saturday, September 3, 2011
A Growing Knowledge
On this date in 1931, chemists discovered that the pituitary gland contains a hormone, hGH, that controls growth. Overactivity of the pituitary, which sits at the base of the brain, results in gigantism. Underactivity results in dwarfism.
The discovery in 1931 eventually led to physicians treating children suffering from a deficiency of the hormone by injections of hGH obtained from the pituitaries of cadavers. More recently, scientists have discovered a way to produce genetically engineered hGH in bacteria.