"These women have been to a lot of doctors and a lot of clinics and they know that the medical knowledge out there is limited so they are willing to help further research in this field," Azziz said of the significant patient contributions.
Azziz is collaborating with scientists at Cedars-Sinai to identify the multiple genes responsible, which they suspect also have roles in insulin signaling, inflammation and androgen production. "We know that a significant portion of women with PCOS have an inherited defect of their insulin action which, along with other genetic defects, results in the syndrome," he said. "If we can find the genes that are abnormal, we may be able to find drugs to target those genes."
His GHSU team is also examining signaling abnormalities in fat a determinant of insulin resistance in PCOS patients. "Clearly fat in PCOS behaves differently than fat in healthy women of the same weight," Azziz said. They suspect the abnormal signals are partially to blame for the abnormal response to insulin. They also suspect the signaling abnormalities are good treatment targets.
|Contact: Toni Baker|
Georgia Health Sciences University