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. 

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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EFA Medical Conference 2017: Welcome Presentation by Dr. Tamer Seckin

The first part of the Endometriosis Foundation of America’s 2017 Medical Conference delved into the mission and history of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. The first presenter was Dr. Tamer Seckin, a renowned surgeon, and gynecologist who is also the co-founder and Medical Director of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Dr. Seckin began the conference by highlighting the fact that this is a historical conference as it covers a topic that has not been presented in such a manner before.…

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Biomarkers as a Diagnostic Tool

Ahn, Singh and Tayade discuss the difficulties and delay in diagnosing Endometriosis in their paper titled “Biomarkers in endometriosis: challenges and opportunities.” Thus far research has identified a multitude of potential biomarkers that are found in various parts of the body including blood, peritoneal fluid, urine, and endometrial biopsies. In this literature review published in Fertility and Sterility, the authors analyze benefits and problems associated with using biomarkers to diagnose endometriosis. Research has yet to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that…

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A New VAS-based Diagnostic Tool for Interpreting Pain

The visual analog scale (VAS) is a diagnostic tool used by health care providers to evaluate chronic pain in women with endometriosis. In their publication titled “Minimal clinically important difference for pain on the VAS scale and the relation to quality of life in women with endometriosis,” Wickström and Edelstam hypothesize that they can better analyze VAS scale scores using the "minimal important difference (MID)." Not only would it be a useful tool for data interpretation, it would also be…

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A Two-Wave Molecular Mechanism for Endometriosis Disease Progression

Kobayashi et al. recently published a review paper in Molecular Medicine Reports titled “Pathogenesis of endometriosis: The role of initial infection and subsequent sterile inflammation,” which discusses at length the role of non-specific bacterial infection and sterile inflammation in the disease progression of endometriosis. After reviewing various English-language publications on the subject, the authors use epidemiological and experimental data to propose a two-wave mechanism for the pathogenesis of endometriosis. The first wave of development occurs within the uterine endometrium and…

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Ultrasound-guided High-intensity Focused Ultrasound can Treat Abdominal Wall Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful and complicated disease that can manifest in various ways. One particular way is Abdominal Wall Endometriosis (AWE), which usually arises from surgery. As is true for other types of endometriosis, there has yet to be a cure for AWE. Luo et al. seek to change the status quo by finding a safe and effective treatment option for AWE. They recently published a paper titled “Ultrasound-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment for abdominal wall endometriosis: a retrospective study,”…

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Endometriosis-associated Gene Polymorphisms in Women of Greek Origin

Endometriosis research has yet to elucidate the genetic and environmental mechanisms that contribute to the rise of the disease. In their paper titled “The role of gene polymorphisms in endometriosis,” Matalliotakis et al. concentrate on the genetic component of the disease. This publication above, which can be found in Molecular Medicine Reports, examines if single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs7521902, rs10859871, and rs11031006 mapped to WNT4, VEZT, and FSHB genetic loci respectively play any role in an individual’s risk for endometriosis.…

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Protein-Modifying Variants in the Genome and Their Role in Endometriosis

The results of many endometriosis studies are limited in the fact that they only recruit patients from one geographical area; however, this particular study specifically narrowed their participant search to individuals from one continent, namely Europe. Sapkota et al. chose this subset of the world population because studies had previously identified a large number of endometriosis-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 11 to be exact, exist in individuals of European descent. In this study, the authors used the first sizeable exome-array…

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Institutional Violence Typically Faced by Women with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful disease for many reasons. The physical pain caused by the illness is acknowledged by all; however, the pain resulting from institutional violence is not as commonly discussed. Before proceeding, it is important to define institutional violence as the negligence and failure of institutions to provide public services in a complete and respectful manner. São Bento and Moreira recently published an article titled “The experience of Illness of women with endometriosis: narratives about institutional violence” in Ciência…

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A New Treatment Time-Table for Controlling Endometriosis-Associated Pelvic Pain

It is no secret that Endometriosis is an extremely painful disease. Unfortunately, science has yet to determine a treatment that can effectively treat the disease or the associated pain. In their paper titled “Ethinylestradiol 20 mg/drospirenone 3 mg in a flexible extended regimen for the management of endometriosis-associated pelvic pain: a randomized controlled trial,” Harada et al. strive to find an effective and efficient treatment option. This paper published in Fertility and Sterility proposes the Flexible Management of Intracyclic Bleeding…

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Ovarian Reserve Depletion is not Time Sensitive

The European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology recently published a paper titled “Is endometrioma-associated damage to ovarian reserve progressive? Insights from IVF cycles.” This publication by Benaglia et al. examines the controversial relationship between endometriosis and ovarian reserve damage. The authors believe that this aforementioned adverse relationship is influenced more over time than by the mere presence of an endometrioma. This is a retrospective study that had 29 female participants with unilateral cysts. These participants received a…

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TGF-β1 Increases Cell Adhesion and Drives Disease Progression

Without a doubt, the mechanism that drives endometriosis disease progression is complicated. Choi et al. look to elucidate one part of this complex process. They seek to understand the role of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) in the initial adhesion of endometrial cells to the mesothelium. The authors published their findings in an article titled “Transforming growth factor β1 enhances adhesion of endometrial cells to mesothelium by regulating integrin expression” in the BMB Reports. The experiment started with cell culture.…

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Endometriosis Should be Diagnosed Timely and Properly

The pain of endometriosis is often worsened by delayed diagnosis. The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) recently published guidelines for the quick and accurate diagnosis of endometriosis. Jacqui Wise discusses these recommendations and their implications in her piece “NICE urges GPs to diagnoses endometriosis more quickly." Ms. Wise starts her paper by referring to the guideline's list of symptoms that are linked with endometriosis. Next, she talks about the prevalence and the adverse whole-body impacts associated with…

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Overview of NICE Endometriosis Guidelines

In this article titled “Diagnosis and management of endometriosis: summary of NICE guidance,” Kuznetsov et al. talk through the recent endometriosis guidelines set forth by The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE). The BMJ publication hopes to elucidate the model for healthcare best suited for individuals with endometriosis. It is important to note that the intended audience for this review is the health care providers who women go to first. The NICE guideline delineated within this paper was…

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CCL19/CCR7 Interaction can Casue Characteristic Cell Proliferation

In their paper published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology titled “CCL19/CCR7 contributes to the pathogenesis of endometriosis via PI3K/Akt pathway by regulating the proliferation and invasion of ESCs,” Diao et al. hope to elucidate one of the mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of endometriosis. The authors believe that the answer can be found in the endometrium and peritoneal fluid (PF). It is hypothesized that CCL19, a chemokine, in the PF and CCL19/CCR7 found within the endometrium may…

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