September 14, 2021
Endometriosis is a debilitating condition that affects around 10% of people who menstruate, and yet the condition is poorly understood and has no cure. For those who live with endometriosis, they have tissue which is similar to the lining of the uterus that grows in the abdominal cavity. During menstruation, this tissue, like the lining of the uterus, responds to the hormonal signals in the body, causing severe pain.
A collaborative team of researchers, led by Oxford University have made an important breakthrough in endometriosis research. Following genomic analysis of endometriosis suffers they have discovered a genetic link. Their research revealed that variations in the NPSR1 (neuropeptide S receptor 1) gene occur more frequently in those who live with endometriosis.
The researchers, using cell culture and animal studies, have been able to switch off the activity of the NPSR1 gene using medication, resulting in less inflammation in cells and less pain in mice. Further research will be required before this medication can be tested in humans to see if it can help reduce the painful symptoms of endometriosis. However, this discovery shows promise for medical advancements that could change way endometriosis is treated, drastically improving the lives of many.
Source: The Conversation
Learn more: https://theconversation.com/endometriosis-gene-identified-which-could-be-potential-treatment-target-new-study-167211