Murat Osman

Senior Research Columnist: Murat Osman is a MD candidate at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. His interest in research is primarily focused on Medical Oncology and Radiology. He is also focused on cultivating his passion for medical science and human health through scientific writing and advocacy.

What is the role of hormones on the function and development of the brain?

Dr. Sarah L. Berga, Professor, and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology Wake Forest School of Medicine aim to talk about the effects of sex hormones such as estrogens and progestins on brain health with an emphasis on the neuroprotective characteristics of estrogens. Throughout her presentation, results from many different studies are explained to highlight that estrogen affects many functions of the brain and that stress and progestins have been found to counteract the neuroprotective functions of estrogens. Dr. Berga begins the…

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Effects of acupuncture for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain

Acupuncture has been seen to offer chronic pain relief most likely due to multiple effects including analgesia and anti-inflammatory changes. Current therapy for endometriosis includes pharmacological and surgical methods. Symptom relief using other supplementary therapies such as acupuncture has been implicated in chronic pain relief, but its effectiveness is still uncertain. The meta-analysis published in PLoS One by Xu et al. aims to summarize the current understanding of acupuncture’s role in the multi-disciplinary approach to treating endometriosis. Using the Cochrane…

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The role of the B lymphocytes in endometriosis: A systematic review

Insight into the role of an inflammatory response in endometriosis has sparked further study into the role of different immune cells and their causal relationship to the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Several recent studies have found an association between aberrant immune response to the presence of endometriosis. This immune-mediated disturbance is thought to aid in the undeterred implantation and proliferation of ectopic endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity. B cells are cells of the immune system that are activated normally to…

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Is there a risk of developing breast cancer for women with endometriosis?

Understanding the interplay between the development of breast cancer and the presence of endometriosis and vice versa is complex since many risk factors including hormone or genetic variations and medical treatments have a role in each disease process. Thus, parsing out different epidemiological studies with varying results and research methods may yield a clearer picture on the correct association of breast cancer with endometriosis. After pooling studies that concluded in either a positive (direct) or negative (null or inverse) association…

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Migraine and endometriosis?

Many studies have alluded to the relationship between endometriosis and migraines but have often been inconclusive. A migraine is a neurologic disorder in which intense pain, either focal or generalized, occurs with or without associated symptoms such as photophobia, nausea, or menorrhagia. Recent studies have shown that women with endometriosis who also experience migraine headaches have an increased change of mood and pain-related disorders. Thus, understanding this difference is an essential part of developing a multi-factorial approach to treating this…

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An association of negative coping strategies on the presence of chronic symptoms associated with endometriosis

Endometriosis is often a long-term condition that becomes disabling and can affect the quality of life and mental health of many women. One area of endometriosis that needs to be focused on is the psychosocial-related issues of endometriosis and how clinicians can effectively approach recognizing and addressing these issues. Endometriosis has been seen to be associated with an increased risk of many psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety, increased stress, and decreased quality of life. These in addition to…

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Swimming Against the Stream: Is Surgery Worthwhile in Women with Deep Infiltrating Endometriosis and Pregnancy Intention?

Management of Deeply Infiltrating Endometriosis (DIE) is further complicated by the implications of affected patients who plan to become or are pregnant. Optimal management in this situation is not standardized due to a lack of randomized trials comparing primary surgery with first-line in vitro fertilization (IVF) on pregnancy outcomes. Studies have shown that the success rate of assisted reproductive techniques (ART) does not seem to change after having surgery to remove DIE lesions. However, discussion on surgery’s role in improving…

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The role of gene polymorphisms in the pathogenesis of endometriosis

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common type of genetic variations that exist among individuals. These polymorphisms differ by a single nucleotide base pair and are scattered throughout the human genome. Scientists use SNPs as a biological marker to locate and delineate mutations or variations of genes that are associated with disease processes and to assess the genetic similarity between individuals. Most SNPs are completely harmless and do not hurt health or development. However, in some cases, mutations can…

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Are there contributing factors to the co-presence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Endometriosis?

Recently, there has been an association between the presence of endometriosis and increased visceral and pressure hypersensitivity, chronic pelvic pain, and other pain and mood disorders. IBS is a functional bowel disorder that is characterized by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort that improves with defecation. Using different forms of questionnaires including the Birmingham IBS scale, researchers can measure the severity of IBS symptoms. Between December 2013 and April 2015, 373 women with endometriosis were seen in a tertiary referral center…

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With so many imaging tools and modalities, which one should be used for endometriosis?

Intestinal endometriosis affects 5 to 12% of women with endometriosis and commonly presents as dyschezia, rectal bleeding, cyclic defecation pain, constipation, and diarrhea. Currently, surgical treatment includes segmental rectal resection with colorectal anastomosis, but it is often riddled with complications. Thus, identifying such lesions as early as possible may lessen the severity of post-treatment complications and disease symptoms. Transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS), rectal endoscopic sonography (RES) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be used to detect and localize intestinal endometriosis. Transvaginal…

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Comprehensive review on the drug delivery options being used for endometriosis and uterine fibroids.

Both endometriosis and uterine fibroids (uterine leiomyomas) contribute to infertility, chronic pain, and dysmenorrhea across the world. Thus, drug delivery methods ranging from contraceptives to biochemical systems based on nanotechnology are currently being used and developed. Specifically, long-acting implantable contraceptives that release selective progesterone receptor modulators (SPRMs), androgens, aromatase inhibitors, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, and immunomodulators are potential options.  The recently published review article in the journal Drug Delivery and Translational Research, entitled "Drug delivery for the treatment of endometriosis…

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Women with endometriosis are increasingly seeking alternative medical therapies for symptom relief

Cyclic premenstrual pain and discomfort (CPPD) encompasses a number of symptoms commonly experienced by many women including premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and is experienced by both women with and without endometriosis. CPPD includes physical and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation including anxiety, depression, bloating, headache, cramping, and breast tenderness. Thus, almost all women have or will experience at least one of these associated symptoms during their lifetime. Some women have found a benefit in using alternative therapies to alleviate some of…

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First-line surgery followed by ART versus ART alone among women with colon-involving endometriosis.

Endometriosis, a disease characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, may cause pelvic and gynecologic complications that affect fertility in women of reproductive age. Several forms of endometriosis have been observed that are characterized by the varying anatomic spreading of endometriotic lesions. One classification, deep infiltrating endometriosis (DIE), is marked by highly invasive endometriotic lesions to the outer portion of the pelvis and may include the colon. The aim of this study was to examine the correlation…

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Severe Dyspareunia is Related with "Cul-de-sac" and "Uterosacral Ligament" Endometriosis

Endometriosis and especially deep infiltrating endometriosis has been associated with an increased risk of severe dyspareunia. Studies reporting the anatomical sites associated with deep dyspareunia and the severity of pain, and the risk factors of these anatomic sites are incongruent; thus need to be confirmed. In this study, published in the scientific journal "Sexual Medicine", 548 women with either currently diagnosed endometriosis, no confirmed presence of endometriosis, or suspected endometriosis were included. For each patient, the bladder, pelvic floor, cervix,…

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Special considerations for the evaluation of Endometriosis on MRI

Pelvic endometriosis may involve either superficial peritoneal or ovarian tissues or may spread to the organs and ligaments of the pelvis in what is known as deeply infiltrating endometriosis (DIE). According to the size and location of these lesions, patients can experience mild discomfort to excruciating pain. Accurate evaluation of endometriotic lesions can only be achieved by knowing the anatomy of each organ and its intimate structural relations. Visualizing and characterizing these lesions in the least invasive and accurate manner…

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Retinoic Acid Signaling Involved in Endometrial Decidualization

Decidualization occurs in the eutopic endometrium during the luteal phase and is controlled by signaling pathways such as cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and progesterone. Researchers from the Northwestern University School of Medicine reported in their recent paper entitled "Altered Retinoid Signaling Compromises Decidualization in Endometriotic Stromal Cells" which appeared in the scientific journal Reproduction, that they found significant differences in the uptake, metabolism, and action of the retinoic acid pathway. Many IVF clinics have observed that women with endometriosis have reduced…

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Cryoablation to Treat Abdominal Wall Endometriosis

Endometriosis of the abdominal wall (AWE) is often painful and requires hormone therapy or surgery for clinical management. Thus, non-invasive treatment options to help reduce pain and the progression of these lesions will help patients who suffer from this disease. This article presents researchers’ experiences using image-guided cryoablation to treat superficial abdominal wall endometriosis in 3 patients. Three patients from the Rhode Island Hospital underwent ultrasound and CT-guided cryoablation from 2015 to 2016. Cryoablation is a procedure whereby a mass…

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T-Cell Dysfunction May Worsen Endometriosis

Researchers from the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan, have found that T regulatory lymphocytes (Treg) may be the reason for the formation of the chronic inflammatory environment involved in endometriosis, a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Tissue samples were surgically collected from 55 women with (27patients) or without (28patients) endometriosis and included ovarian endometrioma, endometrium, peritoneal fluid, and peripheral blood. Using flow cytometry and other molecular methods, researchers compared the immunologic profile of three different…

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Characteristics of endometriosis in adolescents and young girls

Endometriosis is not an uncommon disease. Even among adolescent girls and young women, endometriosis may cause severe symptoms and lead to complications. Understanding the clinical variability of endometriosis in younger and older patients may lead to insight on the risk factors involved in the development of this disease. 900 women with surgically and histologically proven endometriosis were included in the study. Out of 900 women, two clinical groups were made based on age. Group 1 consisted of adolescent girls between…

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Could the cell surface protein "EWI-2" be the new diagnostic marker for endometriosis?

Further Understanding: Researchers from the Reproductive Medicine Center of Wuhan University sought to observe the differential expression of EWI-2, (a cell surface protein and an early activation marker, also known as IGSF8 - Immunoglobulin superfamily member 8) in 145 women affected by endometriosis through their normal and ectopic endometrium (endometriosis). Additionally, they compared the EWI-2 levels in varying phases of the menstrual cycle. The researchers aimed to understand if the levels of this gene could be used as a predictive…

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