Emory University researchers are conducting a study for women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a common disorder that causes irregular or missing menstrual periods and anovulation - the inability to develop and produce eggs. It affects 3-5 percent of women during their reproductive years.
Twelve non-smoking women with PCOS that are between the ages of 18-35, have five or fewer menstrual periods a year, and are of normal body weight for their height are needed for a 22-week study. Emory researchers will explore the extent of how lowering androgen or insulin levels contribute to anovulation in patients with PCOS.
The syndrome is characterized by an increased signal from the brain to the ovary that often times is associated with increased insulin and glucose levels. The ovary responds by making excess androgen, (male hormone) and ultimately, the hormone alterations lead to other symptoms, including excessive body hair, acne, weight gain, and infertility. Women with PCOS may or may not have small cysts in their ovaries.
Researchers will compare the effects of rosiglitazone (a drug that lowers insulin levels) to flutamide (a drug that lowers the effect of androgens on the body) on the women's menstrual cycles and ovulation. Both drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but are not FDA-approved as treatments for PCOS.
To date, the cause of the increased brain signal in PCOS patients remains unexplained. Since some evidence suggests that increased androgens and/or insulin may play a part, the goal of the study is to better describe the factors that influence the brain message to the ovary.
Participants will be assigned by chance to receive rosiglitazone, flutamide, or a placebo pill (an inactive tablet with no medication). Before and during the study, the participants' reproductive hormone levels will be monitored, the message from their brain to their ovaries will be checked and ultrasound scans will be taken of their ovaries.
Eligible women who enroll and complete the study may receive up to $400 for their time and participation. For additional information about the study contact Shayla West at (404) 727-9835.