Common flame-retardant chemicals called polybrominated diphenyl ethers, or PBDEs, appear to be linked to reduced fertility in women, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the Los Angeles Times reports. The chemicals, which have been used for more than four decades, are found in foam furniture, electronics, fabrics, carpets and plastics. Although use of PBDEs is being phased out in the U.S, the chemicals are still found in household products manufactured before 2004, according to the Times. For the study, researchers at University of California-Berkley analyzed blood samples of 223 pregnant women for presence of PBDE.
Oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may increase the risk of developing asthma after the menopause, suggests a large scale study published ahead of print in the journal Thorax. The authors base their findings on 57, 664 women, who were quizzed about their use of HRT and development of asthma symptoms every two years between 1990 and 2002. All the women were taking part in the French E3N study, which includes almost 100, 000 women born between 1925 and 1950, and is the French component of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). None of these women had asthma when menopausal symptoms began. The monitoring period equated to 495, 448 person years in all, of which over a third was accounted for by women who had not used HRT (35.
GSK announces the formation of a new standalone unit specialising in the development and commercialisation of medicines for rare diseases. Over 5, 500 rare diseases have been identified(1) of which less than 10% are currently being treated(2), presenting a significant unmet medical need. Despite the rarity of each condition, the number of diseases means that between 6-8% of the population(3) may be affected by a rare disease. Many are genetic in origin, start in childhood and cause lifelong debility and premature death. Operating under a lean structure, Marc Dunoyer, GSK's President of Asia Pacific and Chairman of Japan, will lead this new operation, working closely with Patrick Vallance, GSK's Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery.
Oligomenorrhea is a medical term which generally refers to irregular or infrequent menstrual periods with intervals of more than 35 days - however, the duration may vary. A period, or menstruation, is the shedding of the endometrium - the lining of the uterus. Menstruation is also called menses. All female humans, as well as a number of other female mammals, have regular periods during their reproductive age. Menstruation, which includes bleeding from the vagina, occurs mainly among humans and similar animals, such as primates. In many mammals, the endometrium is reabsorbed. As far as humans are concerned a period is a bleed from the womb (uterus) that is released through the vagina.
Scientists have identified a gene they say is a strong candidate for involvement in premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and other maladies associated with the natural flux in hormones during the menstrual cycle. In a paper to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Rockefeller University researchers detail experiments in mice showing that a common human variant of the gene increases anxiety, dampens curiosity and tweaks the effects of estrogen on the brain, impairing memory. If applied in the clinic, the work could help diagnose and treat cognitive and mood disorders related to the menstrual cycle and inform treatments during menopause, such as hormone replacement therapy, researchers say.
A leading clinical research center in Peoria has joined an international research program to study an investigational drug designed as a possible treatment for painful menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, a condition that affects between 45 and 90 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States. Although not life threatening, dysmenorrhea can be debilitating and psychologically taxing and is one of the leading causes of absenteeism from work and school. Current therapies for the condition (including NSAIDs and 'off label' oral contraceptives) are not completely effective for all women and sometimes do not provide satisfactory relief of symptoms, particularly in women with more severe pain.