Kasthuri Nair

Kasthuri is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Johns Hopkins University. She has a passion for medical writing that was first ignited in 2015 and hopes to pursue a career in medical journalism. 

Diseases that Coexist with Adenomyosis and Endometriosis

Adenomyosis, defined by endometrial glands and stroma found within the muscular uterine wall, and endometriosis are two common gynecological diseases that are similar pathologically and symptomatically. Choi et al. recently conducted a study where they hoped to determine the prevalence of these two diseases. That being said, the main focus of the study was to identify gynecological and non-gynecological diseases that exhibit comorbidity with endometriosis and adenomyosis. Their experimental process and results can be found in an article titled “Comorbidity…

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Centralization of Pelvic Endometriosis Care

Dr. Patrick Chien, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of BJOG, recently wrote an article titled “Pelvic endometriosis: will centralization of services improve patient care?” In this article, Dr. Chien formulated an opinion on the centralization of pelvic endometriosis care based on the nature of the disease itself. Dr. Chien supplements his argument using other publications that explored pelvic endometriosis in depth. It is difficult to determine the prevalence of pelvic endometriosis because there could very well be cases of pelvic endometriosis that…

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The Heritability of Endometriosis

The mechanisms underlying endometriosis, genetic or otherwise, have yet to be understood. Thus, very little is known about how one can be afflicted with this disease. Isidor et al. recently published a paper titled “Familial deep endometriosis: A rare monogenic disease?” in The European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology that looks to implicate any genetic factors that can potentially cause the disease. The experimental process involved 2 families. Each of the families had 4 sisters that had…

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Changes in Complement Proteins Affect Infertility in Women with Endometriosis

Palomino et al. recently published a paper titled “The endometria of women with endometriosis exhibit dysfunctional expression of complement regulatory proteins during the mid-secretory phase” in the Journal of Reproductive Immunology where they look at the expression of CRPs during the menstrual cycle of women with and without endometriosis. They also hope to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that result in DAF and αvβ3 integrin interactions. When an embryo forms and develops, it’s survival is dependent on the regulation of complement activation, part of the…

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A Novel Questionnaire-based Approach for Assessing Endometriosis Pain

Fauconnier et al. recently published a paper in the Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics and Human Reproduction titled “A self-administered questionnaire to measure the painful symptoms of endometriosis: Results of a modified DELPHI survey of patients and physicians” that seeks to develop a questionnaire-based method to assess endometriosis-related pain. This study was created because currently used methods of pain assessment are not as effective as they should be. The research process consisted of many parts. In the first part, the researchers…

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Can Ovarian Stimulation Increase Endometrioma Volume?

Seyhan et al. recently published a paper titled “Do endometriomas grow during ovarian stimulation for assisted reproduction? A three-dimensional volume analysis before and after ovarian stimulation” in Reproductive BioMedicine Online. The authors initially believe that ovarian stimulation, often used in assisted reproduction techniques, can be linked to an increase in endometrioma volume. The researchers studied 25 women and 28 endometriomas. Each woman had at least 1 endometrioma. The patients underwent ovarian stimulation where they could have been subject to one…

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Dienogest Use Over A Prolonged Period of Time

There are not a lot of treatments on the market for endometriosis; however, Dienogest (DNG), a progestin that has high selective progesterone activity along with low androgenic activity, has been found to reduce endometriosis-associated pain. Lee et al. recently published a paper titled “Efficacy and Safety of Long-Term Use of Dienogest in Women With Ovarian Endometrioma,” that looked at the implications of using DNG over a long period of time, defined as greater than 12 months. They specifically analyzed the…

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Hormonal Contraceptives and the Risk of Breast Cancer

A study titled “Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer” was recently published in The New England Journal of Medicine and was immediately picked up and summarized by many well-known newspapers and broadcasting journals, including but not limited to NPR, CNN, and NBC. Which then begs the question: What makes this Danish study so interesting and pertinent to a large reader base that a number of popular websites would rush to publish the results? This question can be…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Fertility Preservation to BRCA Mutations" Presentation by Dr. Kutluk Oktay

Dr. Kutluk Oktay is the Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Reproduction & Fertility Preservation as well as a Professor of OBGYN at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Oktay also presented at the EFA 2017 Medical Conference, and his presentation was titled “Fertility Preservation to BRCA Mutations: A Path to Discovering Mechanisms and Manipulation Ovarian Aging.” Dr. Oktay begins his presentation by stating that a woman has a set number of eggs at birth. This amount decreases over time,…

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Endometriosis-related Mitochondrial DNA Control Region Polymorphisms Found in Brazil

The genetic basis for the formation of endometriosis is still at large. Andres et al. from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil,  looked at various individuals, with and without endometriosis, to determine polymorphisms in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region that could give rise to endometriosis. An explanation of their research process and results are published under the title “Polymorphisms of mitochondrial DNA control region are associated to endometriosis” in the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. The researchers collected peripheral…

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Retinoic Acid and Beclin1 Play an Opposite Role in Endometriosis Development

In their paper titled “Retinoic acid regulates endometriotic stromal cell growth through upregulation of Beclin1,” Lu et al. seek to elucidate the mechanism that drives endometriosis disease progression. Retinoic Acid (RA) is a vitamin A metabolite responsible for regulation of cell proliferation. The authors believed that RA-mediated endometriosis and autophagy are somehow linked. They wished to uncover this relationship and the relationship between RA and Beclin1, an important gene for mammalian autophagy. Their last objective was to see if regulating…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Hormone and Cytokine Sensitivity in Endometriosis" Presentation by Dr. Robert Taylor

The first presenter of the “Estrogen from Inflammation to Cancer: A Distant Link?” section of EFA 2017 Medical Conference was Dr. Robert Taylor from Wake Forest University Health Sciences. Dr. Taylor’s presentation was titled “Hormone and Cytokine Sensitivity in Endometriosis.” Dr. Taylor begins his presentation by discussing the two hormones known to promote endometriosis disease progression, namely estradiol, and progesterone. He then talks about the importance of the hypothalamic pituitary gonadal axis in developing therapies for endometriosis. He then proceeds…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "NIH Funding - Present and Future" Presentation by Dr. Lisa Halvorson

Dr. Lisa Halvorson, the Chief at the Gynecologic Health and Disease Branch at the National Institute of Health (NIH)/NICHD/HHS, gave a presentation titled “NIH Funding - Present and Future” at the EFA 2107 Medical conference. Dr. Halvorson’s presentation began with a brief summary of the organization of the National Institute of Health (NIH). Dr. Halvorson highlighted a few centers that she thought would be of interest to conference participants. One of these centers is the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Breast Cancer in Young Women; Early Diagnosis Timely Intervention" Presentation by Dr. Stephanie Bernik

Dr. Stephanie Bernik is the Chief of Surgical Oncology of Surgery and General Surgery at the Lenox Hill Hospital. She recently presented at the EFA 2017 Medical Conference, and her presentation was titled “Breast Cancer in Young Women; Early Diagnosis Timely Intervention." Dr. Bernik begins her presentation by sharing a few statistics about breast cancer in general and in women below the ages of 40-45. She then goes on to discuss the type, namely estrogen receptor-negative tumors, and characteristics of…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Endometriosis: hormonal or surgical? My reality!" Presentation by Dr. Harry Reich

Dr. Harry Reich, the Former Director of Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery at Columbia University Department of OBGYN, was the last speaker in the Mission and History part of the EFA 2017 Medical Conference. His presentation was titled “Endometriosis: hormonal or surgical? My reality!” Dr. Reich’s presentation delves into his perception of what causes endometriosis. Dr. Reich is skeptical that the disease is caused by retrograde menstruation. He has a much more disease-oriented view. He argues that small cells are trying to…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "Cells Are the New Cure" Presentation by Dr. Max Gomez

Dr. Max Gomez is an award-winning broadcast journalist, CBS News Medical Correspondent, and a presenter at the EFA 2017 Medical Conference. Dr. Gomez’s presentation was titled “Cells Are the New Cure: The Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs That Are Transforming Our Health.” The overarching theme is the versatility of cells and their potential to be the future therapies for a wide variety of illnesses. Dr. Gomez starts his presentation by talking about aging and the ailments that are associated with this natural…

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A Combination Treatment of Psychotherapy With Somatosensory Stimulation for Pain Reduction

Women suffering from endometriosis often cite pelvic pain, anxiety, and depression as some of the worst core symptoms experienced due to the disease; however, emerging research has shown these signs, specifically pelvic pain, may be influenced by psychological trauma. In their publication titled “Psychotherapy With Somatosensory Stimulation for Endometriosis-Associated Pain: The Role of the Anterior Hippocampus,” Beissner et al. delve further into this area of research. They hypothesize that a combination treatment of psychotherapy with somatosensory stimulation would reduce the intensity…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: EFA Research Grants Presentation by Dr. Serin Seckin

Dr. Serin Seckin, a Resident Physician at Mount Sinai Health System, gave a presentation during the 2017 Medical Conference titled “EFA Research Grants.” This presentation delineated and went into some detail about the research grants worth over $400,000 that were awarded by the Endometriosis Foundation of America in the last year. The first grant was awarded to Dr. Ie-Ming Shih, a Richard W. TeLinde Distinguished Professor from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Shih was also one of the earlier presenters at…

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EFA Medical Conference 2017: "The Environmental Risks of Breast Cancer" Presentation by Dr. Marisa Weiss

The second speaker in the subsection of the conference titled “Estrogen from Inflammation to Cancer: A Distant Link?” was Dr. Marisa Weiss and she gave a presentation titled “The Environmental Risks of Breast Cancer: Common Ground with Endometriosis.” Dr. Weiss is the Chief Medical Officer and founder of Breastcancer.org. Her presentation primarily focused on breast cancer: the causes and ways to prevent it. Dr. Weiss begins her lecture by discussing the prevalence of the disease. In fact, it is now…

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High-Mobility Group Box 1 Expression Could Lead to Disease Progression

Endometriosis can often be characterized by the aberrant ectopic growth of endometriotic stromal cells (ESCs); however, research has yet to elucidate the mechanism driving this growth. The authors of this study, namely Shimizu et al., believe that the high-mobility group box (HMGB) 1 expression in menstrual blood may be a part of this disease progression mechanism. They delineate their experimental process and related results in a publication titled “High Expression of High-Mobility Group Box 1 in Menstrual Blood: Implications for…

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