Scientists Find Gene Mutation That Spurs Early Puberty
June 7, 2013
Scientists have located the gene MKRN3 which is believed to have a direct correlation with central precocious puberty; which is the condition of going into early puberty – before age 9.
This study was produced by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), in collaboration with Boston Children’s Hospital, the Broad Institute, and the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Researchers analyzed 40 members of 15 families and found that the father passes down the gene to the children. Among mutations surrounding MKRN, the 3rd mutation has been identified as the causation of activation for early reproductive hormones that propel the child into puberty.
Ursula Kaiser, co-author of the study and chief of the BWH division of endocrinology, diabetes and hypertension, said in a press release : “This study will allow doctors to diagnose the cause of precocious puberty in a subset of patients, or to identify patients at risk for developing precocious puberty, especially if others in their family are affected. By better understanding the role of this gene in the timing of puberty, we may be able to gain insights into how other factors, such as environmental factors, may influence pubertal timing.”
Dr. Patricia Vuguin, pediatric endocrinologist at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center, commented : “The diagnosis will also help understand the role of this gene and other associated genes on how and when kids go into puberty, an area that is currently not clear.”
This mutation could also be relational causation of a 23% greater risk of heart disease and a 28% higher risk of dying from a stroke or heart attack.
Studies with mice have alluded to the idea that the expression of the gene, should it be low, would translate in a normal pubescent development.
Leuan Hughes, who wrote the editorial accompanying the study, stated: “An explanation of why puberty starts at about the time of the junction of the first and second decades of human life has yet to be had. How MKRN3, an exemplar of a neurobiologic brake, interacts with other major players of puberty, such as kisspeptin, gonadotropin releasing hormong, leptin, and a host of neurotransmitters (excitatory and inhibitory), will certainly continue to exercise the minds of the puberty pundits.”
The MKRN3 gene mutation is also linked to short stature, severe obesity and cognitive disabilities.
Shockingly , according to a study published in 2010, in African-American girls, 1 in 4 develops breasts around the age of 7 years of age.
During 1991 to 2006 the average age was 10 or 11 for breast development.
The study will be presented at the Endocrine Society’s 95th Annual Meeting & Expo later this month.
Funding for the conference comes from partners such as:
• Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
• Lilly USA, LLC
• Novo Nordisk Inc.
• Merck & Co., Inc.
• Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
• Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
• Amarin Pharma Inc.
• VeroPharma Incorporated
• VIVUS, Inc.
Central Precocious Puberty (CPP) is a new medical condition that coincides with studies like the one published by Herman-Giddens. CPP is defined as “a condition where puberty starts too soon in children—usually in girls under 8 years old and boys under 9 years old.” When the brain of a child releases hormones from the adrenal glands or pituitary gland too early, premature onset of pubescent emergence is manifest which affects the central nervous system, as well as the developing brain.
The goal of pharmaceutical treatments are to “stop puberty from progressing.”
One medication used in the medical community to “combat” this occurrence is Depo-Provera, which is a pharmaceutical form of sterilization for women. This drug is a favorite of Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation because it enables women to “receive a shot behind [their] husband’s back.”
The injectable Depo-Provera is being sold to under-developed nations and being administered by healthcare workers and nonmedical providers, or by the women themselves. Policy and training systems are underway to ensure these drugs are utilized in areas like the sub-Saharan Africa.
By using these areas as testing grounds for new fertility drugs, as well as forcible sterilization schemes, the BMGF are focusing on preventative situations over dealing with abortable pregnancies which become complicated.
Another treatment used to stop CPP is Lupron Depot which is a fertility drug that has dangerous side effects.
Manufactured by Takeda/Abbott Pharmaceuticals, Lupron, which was originally developed to treat prostate cancer, is being administered as a combatant for endometriosis, infertility, fibroids/ovarian cysts and CPP.
Debilitating side effects include hot flashes, memory loss, tachycardia, hematura, hypotension, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, Vitamin D deficiency, constant gnawing bone/joint pain, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, autoimmune diseases, blood disorders, cancer and death.
Long term effects of Lupron are unknown because there have not been any studies to answer this question. This drug, as well as Depo-Provera is approved by the FDA.
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