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  1. 2 points
    It sure sounds like you're on the right track!
  2. 2 points
    I received my dictation from Doctor F.. I pray that I am on the road to a diagnosis. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
  3. 2 points
    Metoclopramide, a gastrointestinal medicine, can increase cortisol levels after unilateral adrenalectomy — the surgical removal of one adrenal gland — and conceal adrenal insufficiency in bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (BMAH) patients, a case report suggests. The study, “Retention of aberrant cortisol secretion in a patient with bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia after unilateral adrenalectomy,” was published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. BMAH is a subtype of adrenal Cushing’s syndrome, characterized by the formation of nodules and enlargement of both adrenal glands. In this condition, the production of cortisol does not depend on adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation, as usually is the case. Instead, cortisol production is triggered by a variety of stimuli, such as maintaining an upright posture, eating mixed meals — those that contain fats, proteins, and carbohydrates — or exposure to certain substances. A possible treatment for this condition is unilateral adrenalectomy. However, after the procedure, some patients cannot produce adequate amounts of cortisol. That makes it important for clinicians to closely monitor the changes in cortisol levels after surgery. Metoclopramide, a medicine that alleviates gastrointestinal symptoms and is often used during the postoperative period, has been reported to increase the cortisol levels of BMAH patients. However, the effects of metoclopramide on BMAH patients who underwent unilateral adrenalectomy are not clear. Researchers in Japan described the case of a 61-year-old postmenopausal woman whose levels of cortisol remained high after surgery due to metoclopramide ingestion. The patient was first examined because she had experienced high blood pressure, abnormal lipid levels in the blood, and osteoporosis for ten years. She also was pre-obese. She was given medication to control blood pressure with no results. The lab tests showed high serum cortisol and undetectable levels of ACTH, suggesting adrenal Cushing’s syndrome. Patients who have increased cortisol levels, but low levels of ACTH, often have poor communication between the hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenal glands. These three glands — together known as the HPA axis — control the levels of cortisol in healthy people. Imaging of the adrenal glands revealed they were both enlarged and presented nodules. The patient’s cortisol levels peaked after taking metoclopramide, and her serum cortisol varied significantly during the day while ACTH remained undetectable. These results led to the BMAH diagnosis. The doctors performed unilateral adrenalectomy to control cortisol levels. The surgery was successful, and the doctors reduced the dose of glucocorticoid replacement therapy on day 6. Eight days after the surgery, however, the patient showed decreased levels of fasting serum cortisol, which indicated adrenal insufficiency — when the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough cortisol. The doctors noticed that metoclopramide was causing an increase in serum cortisol levels, which made them appear normal and masked the adrenal insufficiency. They stopped metoclopramide treatment and started replacement therapy (hydrocortisone) to control the adrenal insufficiency. The patient was discharged 10 days after the surgery. The serum cortisol levels were monitored on days 72 and 109 after surgery, and they remained lower than average. Therefore she could not stop hydrocortisone treatment. The levels of ACTH remained undetectable, suggesting that the communication between the HPA axis had not been restored. “Habitual use of metoclopramide might suppress the hypothalamus and pituitary via negative feedback due to cortisol excess, and lead to a delayed recovery of the HPA axis,” the researchers said. Meanwhile, the patient’s weight decreased, and high blood pressure was controlled. “Detailed surveillance of aberrant cortisol secretion responses on a challenge with exogenous stimuli […] is clinically important in BMAH patients,” the study concluded. “Caution is thus required for assessing the actual status of the HPA axis.” From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/05/07/metoclopramide-conceals-adrenal-insufficiency-after-gland-removal-bmah-patients-case-report/
  4. 2 points
    I never had a hump but still had Cushing's. Unfortunately your symptoms (and most Cushing's symptoms) can also be caused by other medical conditions so it's important to test everything and if you're concerned about Cushing's I would do some cortisol testing if you haven't already. Have you done any 24 hour urinary free cortisol tests? or had your ACTH checked?
  5. 1 point
    Written by Kathleen Doheny with Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, and Vivien Herman-Bonert, MD Cushing's disease, an uncommon but hard to treat endocrine disorder, occurs when a tumor on the pituitary gland, called an adenoma—that is almost always benign—leads to an overproduction of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), which is responsible for stimulating the release of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Until now, surgery to remove the non-cancerous but problematic tumor has been the only effective treatment. Still, many patients will require medication to help control their serum cortisol levels, and others cannot have surgery or would prefer to avoid it. Finally, a drug proves effective as added on or alternative to surgery in managing Cushing's disease. Photo; 123rf New Drug Offers Alternative to Surgery for Cushing's Disease Now, there is good news about long-term positive results achieved with pasireotide (Signifor)—the first medication to demonstrate effectiveness in both normalizing serum cortisol levels and either shrinking or slowing growth of tumors over the long term.1,2 These findings appear in the journal, Clinical Endocrinology, showing that patients followed for 36 months as part of an ongoing study had improved patient outcomes for Cushing’s disease.2 "What we knew before this extension study was—the drug will work in approximately half of the patients with mild Cushing's disease," says study author Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, director of the Northwest Pituitary Center and professor of neurological surgery and medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and clinical nutrition at the Oregon Health and Sciences University School of Medicine. “Pasireotide also offers good clinical benefits," says Dr. Fleseriu who is also the president of the Pituitary Society, “which includes improvements in blood pressure, other signs and symptoms of Cushing’s symptom], and quality of life.”2 What Symptoms Are Helped by Drug for Cushing's Disease? Among the signs and symptoms of Cushing’s disease that are lessened with treatment are:3 Changes in physical appearance such as wide, purple stretch marks on the skin (eg, chest, armpits, abdomen, thighs) Rapid and unexplained weight gain A more full, rounder face Protruding abdomen from fat deposits Increased fat deposits around the neck area The accumulation of adipose tissue raises the risk of heart disease, which adds to the urgency of effective treatment. In addition, many individuals who have Cushing’s disease also complain of quality of life issues such as fatigue, depression, mood and behavioral problems, as well as poor memory.2 As good as the results appear following the longer term use of pasireotide,2 Dr. Fleseriu admits that in any extension study in which patients are asked to continue on, there are some built-in limitations, which may influence the findings. For example, patients who agree to stay on do so because they are good responders, meaning they feel better, so they’re happy to stick with the study. “Fortunately, for the patients who have responded to pasireotide initially, this is a drug that can be continued as there are no new safety signals with longer use," Dr. Fleseriu tells EndocrineWeb, "and when the response at the start is good, very few patients will lose control of their urinary free cortisol over time. That's a frequent marker used to monitor patient's status. For those patients with large tumors, almost half of them had a significant shrinkage, and all the others had a stable tumor size." What Are the Reasons to Consider Drug Treatment to Manage Cushing’s Symptoms The extension study ''was important because we didn't have any long-term data regarding patient response to this once-a-month treatment to manage Cushing's disease," she says. While selective surgical removal of the tumor is the preferred treatment choice, the success rate in patients varies, and Cushing's symptoms persist in up to 35% of patients after surgery. In addition, recurrent rates (ie, return of disease) range from 13% to 66% after individuals experience different durations remaining in remission.1 Therefore, the availability of an effective, long-lasting drug will change the course of therapy for many patients with Cushing’s disease going forward. Not only will pasireotide benefit patients who have persistent and recurrent disease after undergoing surgery, but also this medication will be beneficial for those who are not candidates for surgery or just wish to avoid having this procedure, he said. Examining the Safety and Tolerability of Pasireotide This long-acting therapy, pasireotide, which is given by injection, was approved in the US after reviewing results of a 12-month Phase 3 trial.1 In the initial study, participants had a confirmed pituitary cause of the Cushing's disease. After that, the researchers added the optional 12-month open-label, extension study, and now patients can continue on in a separate long-term safety study. Those eligible for the 12-month extension had to have mean urinary free cortisol not exceeding the upper limit of normal (166.5 nanomoles per 24 hour) and/or be considered by the investigator to be getting substantial clinical benefit from treatment with long-action pasireotide, and to demonstrate tolerability of pasireotide during the core study.1 Of the 150 in the initial trial, 81 participants, or 54% of the patients, entered the extension study. Of those, 39 completed the next phase, and most also enrolled in another long-term safety study—these results not yet available).2 During the core study, 1 participants were randomly assigned to 10 or 30 mg of the drug every 28 days, with doses based on effectiveness and tolerability. When they entered the extension, patients were given the same dose they received at month.1,2 Study Outcomes Offer Advantages in Cushing’s Disease Of those who received 36 months of treatment with pasireotide, nearly three in four (72.2%) had controlled levels of urinary free cortisol at this time point.2 Equally good news for this drug was that tumors either shrank or did not grow. Of those individuals who started the trial with a measurable tumor (adenoma) as well as those with an adenoma at the two year mark (35 people), 85.7% of them experienced a reduction of 20% or more or less than a 20% change in tumor volume. No macroadenomas present at the start of the study showed a change of more than 20% at either month 24 or 36.2 Improvements in blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference continued throughout the extension study.1 Those factors influence CVD risk, the leading cause of death in those with Cushing's.4 As for adverse events, most of the study participants, 91.4%, did report one or more complaint during the extension study—most commonly, it was high blood sugar, which was reported by nearly 40% of participants.2. This is not surprising when you consider that most (81.5%) of the individuals participating in the extension trial entered with a diagnosis of diabetes or use of antidiabetic medication, and even more of them (88.9%) had diabetes at the last evaluation.1 This complication indicates the need for people with Cushing’s disease to check their blood glucose, as appropriate. Do You Have Cushing’s Disese? Here's What You Need to Know Women typically develop Cushing’s disease more often than men. What else should you be aware of if you and your doctor decide this medication will help you? Monitoring is crucial, says Dr. Fleseriu, as you will need to have your cortisol levels checked, and you should be on alert for any diabetes signals, which will require close monitoring and regular follow-up for disease management. Another understanding gained from the results of this drug study: "This medication works on the tumor level," she says. "If the patient has a macroadenoma (large tumor), this would be the preferred treatment." However, it should be used with caution in those with diabetes given the increased risk of experiencing high blood sugar. The researchers conclude that "the long-term safety profile of pasireotide was very favorable and consistent with that reported during the first 12 months of treatment. These data support the use of long-acting pasireotide as an effective long-term treatment option for some patients with Cushing's Disease."1 Understanding Benefits of New Drug to Treat Cushing's Diseease Vivien S. Herman-Bonert, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical director of the Pituitary Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, agreed to discuss the study findings, after agreeing to review the research for EndocrineWeb. As to who might benefit most from monthly pasireotide injections? Dr. Herman-Bonert says, "any patient with Cushing's disease that requires long-term medical therapy, which includes patients with persistent or recurrent disease after surgery." Certainly, anyone who has had poor response to any other medical therapies for Cushing's disease either because they didn't work well enough or because the side effects were too much, will likely benefit a well, she adds. Among the pluses that came out of the study, she says, is that nearly half of the patients had controlled average urinary free cortisol levels after two full years, and 72% of the participants who continued on with the drug for 36 months were able to remain in good urinary cortisol control .1 As the authors stated, tumor shrinkage was another clear benefit of taking long-term pasireotide. That makes the drug a potentially good choice for those even with large tumors or with progressive tumor growth, she says. It’s always good for anyone with Cushing’s disease to have an alterative to surgery, or a back-up option when surgery isn’t quite enough, says Dr. Herman-Bonert. The best news for patients is that quality of life scores improved,1 she adds. Dr Herman-Bonert did add a note of caution: Although the treatment in this study is described as ''long-term, patients will need to be on this for far longer than 2 to 3 years," she says. So, the data reported in this study may or may not persist, and we don’t yet know what the impact will be 10 or 25 years out. Also, the issue of hyperglycemia-related adverse events raises a concern, given the vast majority (81%) of patients who have both Cushing’s disease and diabetes. Most of those taking this drug had a dual diagnosis—having diabetes, a history of diabetes, or taking antidiabetic medicine. If you are under care for diabetes and you require treatment for Cushing’s disease, you must be ver mindful that taking pasireotide will likely lead to high blood sugar spikes, so you should plan to address this with your healthcare provider. Dr. Fleseriu reports research support paid to Oregon Health & Science University from Novartis and other 0companies and consultancy fees from Novartis and Strongbridge Biopharma. Dr. Herman-Bonert has no relevant disclosures. The study was underwritten by Novartis Pharma AG, the drug maker. From https://www.endocrineweb.com/news/pituitary-disorders/62449-cushings-disease-monthly-injection-good-alternative-surgery
  6. 1 point
    Authors Ježková J, Ďurovcová V, Wenchich L, Hansíková H, Zeman J, Hána V, Marek J, Lacinová Z, Haluzík M, Kršek M Received 18 March 2019 Accepted for publication 13 June 2019 Published 19 August 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 1459—1471 DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S209095 Checked for plagiarism Yes Review by Single-blind Peer reviewers approved by Dr Melinda Thomas Peer reviewer comments 3 Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonio Brunetti Jana Ježková,1 Viktória Ďurovcová,1 Laszlo Wenchich,2,3 Hana Hansíková,3 Jiří Zeman,3Václav Hána,1 Josef Marek,1 Zdeňka Lacinová,4,5 Martin Haluzík,4,5 Michal Kršek1 1Third Department of Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; 2Institute of Rheumatology, Prague, Czech Republic; 3Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; 4Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Diagnostic, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic; 5Centre for Experimental Medicine, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic Correspondence: Jana Ježková Third Department of Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University and General University Hospital, U Nemocnice 1128 02 Praha 2, Prague, Czech Republic Tel +420 60 641 2613 Fax +420 22 491 9780 Email fjjezek@cmail.cz Purpose: Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by metabolic disturbances including insulin resistance. Mitochondrial dysfunction is one pathogenic factor in the development of insulin resistance in patients with obesity. We explored whether mitochondrial dysfunction correlates with insulin resistance and other metabolic complications. Patients and methods: We investigated the changes of mRNA expression of genes encoding selected subunits of oxidative phosphorylation system (OXPHOS), pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) and citrate synthase (CS) in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT) and peripheral monocytes (PM) and mitochondrial enzyme activity in platelets of 24 patients with active Cushing’s syndrome and in 9 of them after successful treatment and 22 healthy control subjects. Results: Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome had significantly increased body mass index (BMI), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and serum lipids relative to the control group. The expression of all investigated genes for selected mitochondrial proteins was decreased in SCAT in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome and remained decreased after successful treatment. The expression of most tested genes in SCAT correlated inversely with BMI and HOMA-IR. The expression of genes encoding selected OXPHOS subunits and CS was increased in PM in patients with active Cushing’s syndrome with a tendency to decrease toward normal levels after cure. Patients with active Cushing’s syndrome showed increased enzyme activity of complex I (NQR) in platelets. Conclusion: Mitochondrial function in SCAT in patients with Cushing’s syndrome is impaired and only slightly affected by its treatment which may reflect ongoing metabolic disturbances even after successful treatment of Cushing’s syndrome. Keywords: Cushing’s syndrome, insulin resistance, mitochondrial enzyme activity, gene expression This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms. Download Article [PDF] View Full Text [Machine readable]
  7. 1 point
    I would be very interested to learn the current status of any Disability Claim for Agent Orange with Cushing. My 47 year old daughter had surgery in 2008 for unilateral adrenal Cushings in Orlando, FL. Frank
  8. 1 point
    Still over weight but doing ok.... Can't control my sweating nor my weight. Very tired in the morning. Good to see everyone!
  9. 1 point
    Cases of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-independent Cushing’s syndrome are often caused by unilateral tumors in the adrenal glands, but Indian researchers have now reported a rare case where the condition was caused by tumors in both adrenal glands. Fewer than 40 cases of bilateral tumors have been reported so far, but an accurate diagnosis is critical for adequate and prompt treatment. Sampling the veins draining the adrenal glands may be a good way to diagnose the condition, researchers said. The study, “Bilateral adrenocortical adenomas causing adrenocorticotropic hormone-independent Cushing’s syndrome: A case report and review of the literature,” was published in the World Journal of Clinical Cases. Cushing’s syndrome, a condition characterized by excess cortisol in circulation, can be divided into two main forms, depending on ACTH status. Some patients have tumors that increase the amount of ACTH in the body, and this hormone will act on the adrenal glands to produce cortisol in excess. Others have tumors in the adrenal glands, which produce excess cortisol by themselves, without requiring ACTH activation. This is known as ACTH-independent Cushing’s syndrome. Among the latter, the disease is mostly caused by unilateral tumors — in one adrenal gland only — with cases of bilateral tumors being extremely rare in this population. Now, researchers reported the case of a 31-year-old Indian woman who developed ACTH-independent Cushing’s syndrome because of tumors in both adrenal glands. The patient complained of weight gain, red face, moon face, bruising, and menstrual irregularity for the past two years. She recently had been diagnosed with high blood pressure and had started treatment the month prior to the presentation. A physical examination confirmed obesity in her torso, moon face, buffalo hump, thin skin, excessive hair growth, acne, swollen legs and feet, and skin striae on her abdomen, arms, and legs. Laboratory examinations showed that the woman had an impaired tolerance to glucose, excess insulin, and elevated cortisol in both the blood and urine. Consistent with features of Cushing’s syndrome, cortisol levels had no circadian rhythm and were non-responsive to a dexamethasone test, which in normal circumstances lowers cortisol production. Because ACTH levels were within normal levels, researchers suspected an adrenal tumor, which led them to conduct imaging scans. An abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan showed adrenal adenomas in both adrenal glands (right: 3.1 cm × 2.0 cm × 1.9 cm; left: 2.2 cm × 1.9 cm × 2.1 cm). A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showed that the pituitary gland (which normally produces ACTH) was normal. To determine whether both adrenal tumors were producing cortisol, researchers sampled the adrenal veins and compared their cortisol levels to those of peripheral veins. They found that the left adrenal gland was producing higher amounts of cortisol, thought the right adrenal gland was also producing cortisol in excess. “Our case indicates that adrenal vein [blood] sampling might be useful for obtaining differential diagnoses” in cases of Cushing’s syndrome, researchers stated. Also, they may help design a surgical plan that makes much more sense.” The tumors were surgically removed — first the left, and three months later the right — which alleviated many of her symptoms. She also started prednisolone treatment, which helped resolve many disease symptoms. “Bilateral cortisol-secreting tumors are a rare cause of Cushing’s syndrome,” researchers said. So when patients present bilateral adrenal lesions, “it is crucial to make a definitive diagnosis before operation since various treatments are prescribed for different causes,” they said. The team recommends that in such cases the two tumors should not be removed at the same time, as this approach may cause adrenal insufficiency and the need for glucocorticoid replacement therapy. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/06/27/rare-case-of-cs-due-to-bilateral-tumors-in-the-adrenal-glands/
  10. 1 point
    Are adrenal incidentalomas, which are found by chance on imaging, really harmless? In this paper, the authors looked at 32 studies, including 4121 patients with benign non-functioning adrenal tumours (NFATs) or adenomas that cause mild autonomous cortisol excess (MACE). Only 2.5% of the tumours grew to a clinically significant extent over a mean follow-up period of 50 months, and no one developed adrenal cancer. Of those patients with NFAT or MACE, 99.9% didn’t develop clinically significant hormone (cortisol) excess. This was a group (especially those with MACE) with a high prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. This could be because adrenal adenomas promote cardiometabolic problems, or vice versa, or maybe this group with multimorbidities is more likely be investigated. Adrenal incidentalomas are already found in around 1 in 20 abdominal CT scans, and this rate is likely to increase as imaging improves. So it’s good news that this study supports existing recommendations, which say that follow-up imaging in the 90% of incidentalomas that are smaller than 4 cm diameter is unnecessary. From https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2019/07/03/ann-robinsons-journal-review-3-july-2019/
  11. 1 point
    Keynote Speaker: Maria Fleseriu, MD FACE Registration Cost: Individual $40 Save $20 and register for 2: $60 Please email carol@pituitary.org to register! *This registration is for the Patient Symposium only. The Ohio State University is offering a CME Course separate from our Symposium. For information on the CME course go to ccme.osu.edu OSU Pituitary Symposium Agenda Saturday, July 13, 2019 Patients and Family’s Track Gabbe Conference Room – James L045 8:00 AM Registration and Breakfast 8:20 AM Welcoming Remarks and Introductions: The OSU Skull Base and Pituitary Team Lawrence Kirschner, MD, PhD OSUCCC - James 8:30 AM Hypopituitarism: Pitfalls and Recommendations Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE Oregon Health and Science University 9:00 AM Trans-sphenoidal Approach: What to Expect? Post-Operative Complications Richard Carrau, MD OSUCCC - James 9:30 AM Acromegaly: Why it Takes That Long to Diagnose? What are the Options? Lawrence Kirschner, MD, PhD OSUCCC - James 10:00 AM Round Table Q & A 10:15 AM Mid-Morning Break 10:30 AM Growth Hormone Deficiency: Journey to Adulthood Robert Hoffman Nationwide Children's Hospital 11:00 AM Radiation Therapy? Difference Between Modalities and Possible Risks Dukagjin M Blakaj, MD, PhD OSUCCC - James 11:30 AM Round Table Q & A 11:45 AM Lunch Break and Patient's Journey 12:45 AM Surgical Approach: What to Expect Daniel Prevedello, MD Douglas Hardesty, MD OSUCCC - James 1:15 PM Visual Complications of Pituitary/Sellar Lesion? Predictors of Outcome Abbe Craven, MD OSUCCC - James 1:45 PM Round Table Q & A 2:00 PM Pituitary Trivia Luma Ghalib, MD Brian Lee OSUCCC - James 2:30 PM Pituitary Dysfunction: Effect on Mental Health and Family William Malarkey, MD OSUCCC - James 3:00 PM Recovering from Trans-sphenoidal Surgery, Challenges for the Patient and their Families Traci Douglass, RN OSUCCC - James 3:30 PM Pituitary Network Association: Cushing's Disease: Psychological Research and Clinical Implications Jessica Diller Kovler, AM, MA, PhD PNA Board Member 4:00 PM Closing Remarks 4: 15 PM Adjourn
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
    Thank you Mary. Much appreciated. I am doing a massive research in this area. Will share anything i find.:)
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    I just did a search of these boards and there are 3 other topics on antitrypsin...
  16. 1 point
    Oh no, Donna - does this mean Dr. Zwart didn't work out after all? I've heard very good things about Dr. F, though. Got my fingers crossed that he's the answer for you.
  17. 1 point
    by Kristen Monaco, Staff Writer, MedPage Today LOS ANGELES -- An investigational therapy improved quality of life and reduced disease symptoms for patients with endogenous Cushing's syndrome, according to new findings from the phase III SONICS study. Patients taking oral levoketoconazole twice daily had significant reductions in mean scores for acne (-1.8), peripheral edema (-0.4), and hirsutism (-2.6), all secondary endpoints of the pivotal trial (P<0.03 for all), reported Maria Fleseriu, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. "We're looking forward to see the results of further studies and to add this therapy to the landscape of Cushing's," Fleseriu said here during a presentation of the findings at AACE 2019, the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. "We have a newer medication and still we cannot make a dent in the outcomes of Cushing's, especially for patient-reported outcomes." Free testosterone levels significantly decreased in women taking levoketoconazole (a ketoconazole stereoisomer and potent steroidogenesis inhibitor), from an average of 0.32 ng/dL down to 0.12 ng/dL (0.011 to 0.004 nmol/L, P<0.0001). Men had a non-significant increase: 5.1 ng/dL up to 5.8 ng/dL (0.177 to 0.202 nmol/L). There were no significant changes from baseline to the end of maintenance for other secondary endpoints in the analysis: moon facies, facial plethora, striae, bruising, supraclavicular fat, irregular menstruation, and dysmenorrhea. However, significant improvements after 6 months of therapy were seen in patient-reported quality of life compared with baseline (mean 10.6 change on the Cushing QOL questionnaire) as well as a significant reduction in depressive symptoms (mean -4.3 change on the Beck Depression Inventory II). The open-label, multicenter SONICS (Study of Levoketoconazole in Cushing's Syndrome) trial included 94 adult men and women with a confirmed diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome and elevated 24-hour mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) levels at least 1.5 times the upper limit of normal. In the dose-titration phase of the study (weeks 2 to 21), patients were titrated up to a max dose of 600 mg levoketoconazole twice daily until mUFC normalization. A 6-month maintenance phase followed with no dose increases, but decreases were allowed if adverse events emerged. An additional 6-month extended evaluation phase followed thereafter. The study met it's previously reported primary endpoint, with 30% of patients achieving normalized mUFC levels after 6 months of maintenance therapy without a dose increase (95% CI 21%-40%, P=0.0154). Levoketoconazole was well tolerated, with only 12.8% of patients discontinuing treatment due to adverse events. The most commonly reported adverse events were nausea (31.9%), headache (27.7%), peripheral edema (19.1%), hypertension (17%), and fatigue (16%), some of which were expected due to steroid withdrawal, Fleseriu said. Serious adverse events were reported in 14 patients, including prolonged QTc interval in two patients, elevated liver function in one patient, and adrenal insufficiency in another, events similar to those seen with ketoconazole (Nizoral) therapy. Fleseriu explained that drug-drug interaction is a problem in Cushing's, as all of the available medications prolong QT interval. She noted that in SONICS, QT prolongation with levoketoconazole was observed in few patients. It's still a "concern," said Fleseriu, especially for patients on other drugs that prolong QT. Although not yet approved, levoketoconazole has received orphan drug designation from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency for endogenous Cushing's syndrome. The tentative brand name is Recorlev. The study was supported by Strongbridge Biopharma. Fleseriu reported relationships with Strongbridge, Millendo Therapeutics, and Novartis. Co-authors also disclosed relevant relationships with industry. Primary Source American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Source Reference: Fleseriu M, et al "Levoketoconazole in the treatment of endogenous Cushing's syndrome: Improvements in clinical signs and symptoms, patient-reported outcomes, and associated biochemical markers in the phase 3 SONICS study" AACE 2019; Poster 369. From https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/aace/79465
  18. 1 point
    Corcept Therapeutics is recruiting participants for its Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating relacorilant as a potential treatment for Cushing’s syndrome-related side effects such as high blood pressure and impaired glucose tolerance. Also, findings from the study “A Randomized-Withdrawal, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Selective Glucocorticoid Receptor Antagonist, Relacorilant, in Patients with Cushing Syndrome (GRACE Study),” were presented at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society (ENDO), in New Orleans, Louisiana. In endogenous Cushing’s syndrome there is an “internal” culprit — usually a benign tumor — that makes the body produce too much of the hormone cortisol. The excessive amount of circulating cortisol can lead to serious problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Relacorilant is designed to prevent the effects of excess cortisol by blocking one of its receptors, the glucocorticoid receptor. Results from a Phase 2 trial (NCT02804750) suggest that relacorilant may manage the effects of prolonged cortisol excess in Cushing’s patients faster and without the known side effects of approved medications like Korlym (mifepristone). Also, the treatment improved glucose tolerance and improved blood pressure in patients, suggesting it could be used to treat those with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome and concurrent type 2 diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance, and/or uncontrolled high blood pressure (hypertension). Corcept has now designed the GRACE Phase 3 trial (NCT03697109), a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized-withdrawal study, to evaluate relacorilant’s safety and effectiveness in these patients. GRACE will be conducted in two stages. First, all patients will be given oral relacorilant each day for 22 weeks, at doses rising from 100 mg to a maximum of 400 mg. Those who complete that stage and show improvements in pre-specified parameters of glucose tolerance or hypertension will move into the second, randomized phase of the trial. Here, they will be randomly assigned to placebo or relacorilant at the same dose they received at the end of the first stage. This new round of treatment will last 12 weeks. Treatment-related adverse events (side effects) also will be assessed for up to 48 weeks (about 11 months) as a main outcome. Additional primary goals include changes in glucose tolerance and blood pressure between the end of the first and second stages of the study. Secondary objectives include identifying the proportion of patients achieving a response in glucose tolerance and high blood pressure criteria and the proportion of those who worsened at the end of the first stage, and the changes in quality of life throughout the study. Researchers plan to enroll 130 people in these U.S. cities: Indianapolis, Indiana; Metairie, Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Albany, New York; Jamaica, New York; Wilmington, North Carolina; Miami, Florida; Summerville, South Carolina; El Paso, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and; Aurora, Colorado. More detailed information is available here. “We look forward to presenting new findings concerning cortisol modulation in patients with hypercortisolism,” Joseph K. Belanoff, MD, Corcept’s CEO, said in a press release.
  19. 1 point
    The use of an insulin pump to deliver continuous pulsatile cortisol may be a viable treatment option in patients with severe adrenal insufficiency who are unresponsive to oral corticosteroids, according to study results presented at the 28th Annual Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, held April 24 to 28, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. According to the investigators, increasing oral steroid doses may be required to prevent adrenal crisis in patients with adrenal insufficiency. However, in light of the associated side effects of long-term use of steroids, an alternative treatment method is needed. Insulin pumps, typically used to treat patients with diabetes, can be used to deliver steroids and may provide symptom control, prevent adrenal crisis, and lower required corticosteroid dose. The current study enrolled patients with adrenal insufficiency who could not absorb oral corticosteroid treatment or were not responding to treatment. Of 118 patients with adrenal insufficiency, 6 patients were switched to pump treatment. The results indicated that the use of cortisol pumps was associated with a 78.5% risk reduction for adrenal crisis compared with oral corticosteroids. As hydrocortisone dose was gradually tapered using the cortisol pump, there was a mean dose reduction of 62.77 mg compared with oral corticosteroid therapy. The researchers noted that in addition to reducing the number of adrenal crises, use of a cortisol pump was found to be associated with better symptom control and quality of life. “Continuous pulsatile cortisol replacement via pump is an option for management of severe adrenal insufficiency in patients unresponsive to oral therapy,” concluded the researchers. Reference Khalil A, Ahmed F, Alzohaili O. Insulin pump for adrenal insufficiency, a novel approach to the use of insulin pumps to deliver corticosteroids in patients with poor cortisol absorption. Presented at: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 28th Annual Scientific & Clinical Congress; April 24-28, 2019; Los Angeles, CA. From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/conference-highlights/aace-2019/cortisol-pumps-may-be-viable-option-to-reduce-adrenal-crisis-in-severe-adrenal-insufficiency/
  20. 1 point
    NEW ORLEANS — The investigational drug osilodrostat (Novartis) continues to show promise for treating Cushing's disease, now with new phase 3 trial data. The data from the phase 3, multicenter, double-blind randomized withdrawal study (LINC-3) of osilodrostat in 137 patients with Cushing's disease were presented here at ENDO 2019: The Endocrine Society Annual Meeting by Beverly M.K. Biller, MD, of the Neuroendocrine & Pituitary Tumor Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. "Osilodrostat was effective and shows promise for the treatment of patients with Cushing's disease," Biller said. Osilodrostat is an oral 11β-hydroxylase inhibitor, the enzyme that catalyzes the last step of cortisol biosynthesis in the adrenal cortex. Its mechanism of action is similar to that of the older Cushing's drug metyrapone, but osilodrostat has a longer plasma half-life and is more potent against 11β-hydroxylase. Significantly more patients randomized to osilodrostat maintained a mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) response versus placebo at 34 weeks following a 24-week open-label period plus 8-week randomized phase, with rapid and sustained mUFC reduction in most patients. Patients also experienced improvements in clinical signs of hypercortisolism and quality of life. The drug was generally well-tolerated and had no unexpected side effects. Asked to comment, session comoderator Julia Kharlip, MD, associate medical director of the Pituitary Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, told Medscape Medical News, "This drug is incredibly exciting because over 80% of people were controlled fairly rapidly. People could get symptom relief but also a reliable response. You don't have to wonder when you're treating a severely affected patient if it's going to work. It's likely going to work." However, Kharlip cautioned that it remains to be seen whether osilodrostat continues to work long-term, given that the older drug metyrapone — which must be given four times a day versus twice daily for osilodrostat — is known to become ineffective over time because the pituitary tumor eventually overrides the enzyme blockade. "Based on how osilodrostat is so much more effective at smaller doses, there's more hope that it will be effective long term...If the effectiveness and safety profile that we're observing now continues to show the same performance years in a row, then we've got our drug." Osilodrostat Potentially Addresses an Unmet Medical Need Cushing's disease is a rare disorder of chronic hypercortisolism with significant burden, increased mortality, and decreased quality of life. Pituitary surgery is the recommended first-line treatment for most patients, but not all patients remit with surgery and some require additional treatment. Pasireotide (Signifor, Novartis), an orphan drug approved in the United States and Europe for the treatment of Cushing's disease in patients who fail or are ineligible for surgical therapy, is also only effective in a minority of patients. "There hasn't been a medicine effective for long-term treatment, so a lot of patients end up getting bilateral adrenalectomy, thereby exchanging one chronic medical disease for another," Kharlip explained. Biller commented during the question-and-answer period, "I think because not all patients are placed in remission with surgery initially and because other patients subsequently recur — a problem that is more common than we used to believe — we do need medical therapies." She continued, "I think it's important to have a large choice of medical therapies that work in different places in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. "Even though surgery is the right initial therapy for everyone, I think in terms of subsequent medical therapy we have to tailor that to the individual circumstances of the patient in terms of the goals of treatment, and perhaps what other medicines they're on, the degree of cortisol excess [and other factors]." Highly Significant Normalization in Mean UFC Versus Placebo In a prior 22-week phase 2 study (LINC-2), osilodrostat normalized mUFC in most patients. Results of the extension phase were reported by Medscape Medical News 2 years ago. The current phase 3 study, LINC-3, was conducted on the basis of that proof-of-concept study, Biller said. The trial was conducted in 19 countries across four continents in patients with persistent or recurrent Cushing's disease screened for mUFC > 1.5 times the upper limit of normal and other entry criteria. In total, 137 patients were enrolled and randomized. Participants were a median age of 40 years, 77% were female, and 88% had undergone prior pituitary surgery. Nearly all (96%) had received at least one previous treatment for Cushing's. At baseline, patients' mean mUFC (364 µg/24 hours) was 7.3 times the upper limit of normal, which is "quite significant hypercortisolemia," Biller noted. All patients initially received osilodrostat, with a rapid dose uptitration every 2 weeks from 2 to 30 mg orally twice daily until they achieved a normal UFC. They continued on open-label medication until week 24, when urine samples were collected. Patients who had an mUFC less than the upper limit of normal and had not had a dose increase in the prior 12 weeks were eligible for the double-blind phase. Those who were ineligible continued taking open-label drug. The 70 eligible patients were randomized to continue taking osilodrostat (n = 36) or were switched to placebo (n = 34) for another 8 weeks. After that, the patients taking placebo were switched back to osilodrostat until week 48. A total of 113 patients completed the 48 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was mUFC at 34 weeks (the end of the 8-week randomized phase). For those randomized to continue on the drug, mUFC remained in the normal range in 86.1% of patients versus just 29.4% of those who had been switched to placebo for the 8 weeks. The difference was highly significant (odds ratio, 13.7; P < .001), Biller reported. A key secondary endpoint, proportion of patients with an mUFC at or below the ULN at 24 weeks without up-titration after week 12, was achieved in 53%. The mean dose at 48 weeks was 11.0 mg/day, "a fairly low dose," she noted. Clinical features were also improved at week 48, including systolic and diastolic blood pressure (percentage change –6.8 and –6.6, respectively), weight (–4.6), waist circumference (–4.2), fasting plasma glucose (–7.1), and HbA1c (–5.4). Scores on the Cushing Quality of Life scale improved by 52.4 points, and Beck Depression Inventory scores dropped by 31.8 points. Most Adverse Events Temporary, Manageable The most commonly reported adverse events were nausea (41.6%), headache (33.6%), fatigue (28.5%), and adrenal insufficiency (27.7%), and 10.9% of patients overall discontinued because of an adverse event. Adverse events related to hypocortisolism occurred in 51.1% of patients overall, with 10.2% being grade 3 or 4. However, most of these were single episodes of mild-to-moderate intensity and mainly occurred during the initial 12-week titration period. Most patients responded to dose reduction or glucocorticoid supplementation. Adverse events related to accumulation of adrenal hormone precursors occurred in 42.3% of patients overall, with the most common being hypokalemia (13.1%) and hypertension (12.4%). No male patients had signs or symptoms related to increased androgens or estrogens. However, 12 female patients experienced hirsutism, most of those patients also had acne, and one had hypertrichosis. None discontinued because of those symptoms. Kharlip commented, "What's really inspiring was that even though half of the patients had symptoms related to adrenal insufficiency, it sounded as if they were quickly resolved with treatment and none discontinued because of it." "And it may have been related to study design where the medication was titrated very rapidly. There is probably a way to do this more gently and get the good results without the side effects." Kharlip also praised the international consortium that devised the protocol and collaborated in the research effort. "It's incredibly exciting and gratifying to see the world come together to get these data. It's such a rare disease. To be able to have something like that in the field is a dream, to have a working consortium. The protocol was effective in demonstrating efficacy. It's just a win on so many levels for a disease that currently doesn't have a good therapy...I struggle with these patients all the time so I'm thrilled that there is hope." An ongoing confirmatory phase 3 study, LINC-4, is evaluating patients up to 48 weeks. Biller is a consultant for and has received grants from Novartis and Strongbridge. Kharlip has reported no relevant financial relationships. For more diabetes and endocrinology news, follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. From https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/910864#vp_1
  21. 1 point
    13th Annual Conference for Adults with Endocrine Disorders in Partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute Pituitary Center February 28th, 2019 - March 3rd, 2019 Phoenix, Arizona Schedule of Events Thursday 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Welcome Reception, Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Exhibitors, Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 12:00 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (included) 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm Group outing to Scottsdale Waterfront Saturday 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center 12:00 am - 1:00 pm Lunch (included) 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm Educational Segments, Barrow Pituitary Center Sunday 9:00 am - 1:30 pm Educational Segments, Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown ********************************************************** Friday Educational Segments at Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am Managing Cushings: Navigating Through the Maze, Yuen or 10:00 am Managing AGHD: Daily and Beyond, Knecht 11:00 am Hypothalamic Obesity: Not Just Calories In, Calories Out, Connor 12:00 pm LUNCH (included) 1:00 pm Me, Myself and My Adrenal Insuffiency, Yuen 2:00 pm Navigating the Medical Maze, Herring Saturday Educational Segments at Barrow Pituitary Center 10:00 am Beyond AGHD and Cushings: Familial and Genetic Factors, Stratakis 11:00 am Q&A, Stratakis 12:00 pm LUNCH (included) 1:00 pm Tools for Coping with my Endocrine Disorder, Jonas 2:00 pm Finnigan and Friends: A Year in AI Training, Palmer 2:30 pm Quality of Life Study, Cushings, Edgar & Keil or 2:30 pm Life is What You Make Of It, Jones Sunday Educational Segments at Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown 9:00 am Preventing Muscle Wasting and Nutrition, Fine 10:00 am Nuances of Treating Hypothyroidism, Friedman 11:00 am Macrilen Stimulation Test for Growth Hormone Defiency, Friedman 11:45 am The New and The Old for Diagnosing Cushing's Syndrome, Friedman 12:30 pm Ask the Wiz, Friedman Location Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center Goldman Auditorium and Sonntag Pavilion 350 W. Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013 Transportation will be provided on Friday and Saturday between the Wyndham Hotel to Barrow for an hour prior to the segments and an hour after close of the segments. The hotel is approximately 1/2 mile away from Barrow Pituitary Center if you choose to walk or travel there on your own. Hotel Room Rates and Reservations Wyndham Garden Phoenix Midtown 3600 N. 2nd Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85013 $109 per night + tax. Includes free wifi, parking and buffet breakfast To make hotel reservations call 602-604-4900 and ask for The MAGIC Foundation guest room block. Refrigerators are first come so be sure to request one when making your reservation. Airport Transportation Transportation is not provided to/from the hotel from the airport. The Wyndham is approximately 9 miles from the airport. Preferred airport is Phoenix, AZ - PHX - Sky Harbor Intl. Deadline to Register and book your hotel is January 28, 2019 View the entire PDF Program
  22. 1 point
    A man with Cushing’s disease — caused by an adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary adenoma — who later developed metastases in the central nervous system without Cushing’s recurrence, was successfully treated over eight years with radiation and chemotherapy, according to a case report. The report, “Long-term survival following transformation of an adrenocorticotropic hormone secreting pituitary macroadenoma to a silent corticotroph pituitary carcinoma: Case report,” was published in the journal World Neurosurgery. Pituitary carcinomas make up only 0.1-0.2% of all pituitary tumors and are characterized by a primary pituitary tumor that metastasizes into cranial, spinal, or systemic locations. Fewer than 200 cases have been reported in the literature. Most of these carcinomas secrete hormones, with ACTH being the most common. Though the majority of ACTH-secreting carcinomas present with Cushing’s disease, about one-third do not show symptoms of the condition and have normal serum cortisol and ACTH levels. These are called silent corticotroph adenomas and are considered more aggressive. A research team at the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented the case of a 51-year-old Caucasian man with ACTH-dependent Cushing’s disease. He had undergone an incomplete transsphenoidal (through the nose) resection of an ACTH-secreting pituitary macroadenoma – larger than 10 mm in size – and radiation therapy the year before. At referral in August 1997, the patient had persistent high cortisol levels and partial hypopituitarism, or pituitary insufficiency. He exhibited Cushing’s symptoms, including facial reddening, moon facies, weight gain above the collarbone, “buffalo hump,” and abdominal stretch marks. About two years later, the man was weaned off ketoconazole — a medication used to lower cortisol levels — and his cortisol levels had been effectively reduced. He also had no physical manifestations of Cushing’s apart from facial reddening. In May 2010, the patient reported two episodes of partial seizures, describing two spells of right arm tingling, followed by impaired peripheral vision. Imaging showed a 2.1-by-1-cm mass with an associated cyst within the brain’s right posterior temporal lobe, as well as a 1.8-by-1.2-cm mass at the cervicomedullary junction, which is the region where the brainstem continues as the spinal cord. His right temporal cystic mass was then removed by craniotomy. A histopathologic analysis was consistent with pituitary carcinoma. Cell morphology was generally similar to the primary pituitary tumor, but cell proliferation was higher. Physical exams showed no recurrence of Cushing’s disease and 24-hour free urinary cortisol was within the normal range. His cervicomedullary metastasis was treated with radiation therapy in July 2010. He took the oral chemotherapy temozolomide until August 2011, and Avastin (bevacizumab, by Genentech) was administered from September 2010 to November 2012. At present, the patient continues to undergo annual imaging and laboratory draws. He receives treatment with hydrocortisone, levothyroxine — synthetic thyroid hormone — and testosterone replacement with androgel. His most recent exam showed no progression over eight years of a small residual right temporal cyst, a residual mass along the pituitary stalk — the connection between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland — and a small residual mass at the cervicomedullary junction. Lab results continue to show no Cushing’s recurrence. “Our case is the first to document a patient who initially presented with an endocrinologically active ACTH secreting pituitary adenoma and Cushing’s disease who later developed cranial and spinal metastases without recurrence of Cushing’s disease and transformation to a silent corticotroph pituitary carcinoma,” the scientists wrote. They added that the report is also the first documenting “8 years of progression-free survival in a patient with pituitary carcinoma treated with radiotherapy, [temozolomide] and bevacizumab.” Adapted from https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/01/03/successful-treatment-pituitary-carcinoma-radiation-chemo-case-report/
  23. 1 point
    A 42-year-old woman who presented to hospital with acute vision loss in her right eye was diagnosed with a benign tumour in her adrenal gland. Writing in BMJ Case Reports, clinicians described how the patient presented with a visual acuity of 6/36 in her right eye and 6/6 in her left eye. Investigations revealed an exudative retinal detachment in her right eye as well as a pigment epithelial detachment. The patient had multifocal central serous retinopathy in both eyes. The woman, who had hypertension and diabetes, was diagnosed with Cushing syndrome and a right adrenal adenoma was also discovered. During a treatment period that spanned several years, the patient received an adrenalectomy followed by a maintenance dose of steroids. The patient subsequently developed central serous retinopathy again which the clinicians believe might be related to steroid use. The authors advised “careful deliberation” in prescribing a maintenance dose of steroids following removal of the adrenal glands because of the potential link to retinopathy. From https://www.aop.org.uk/ot/science-and-vision/research/2018/12/17/vision-loss-the-first-sign-of-adrenal-tumour-in-42-year-old-patient
  24. 1 point
    Is there any way for you to post this for all to see? The Doctor that I am seeing is Dr. Zwart. He is located in Tucson Arizona. Tucson Endocrine Associates. 5910 N La Cholla Blvd. Tucson Arizona, 85741. (520) 297-0404
  25. 1 point
    I Went to my Endo appt yesterday (prepared) I had a list of all of my symptoms and a few photos of me to show the dramatic changes that my body has gone through over a short period of time. Without my prompting, He is sure that I have Cushings. Now, to prove it. I Walked away with a long list of labs to do, including...blood, urine, and saliva. Although I already knew in my heart that this is what I had, it was still very hard to hear. I know this is not gonna be an easy road to travel and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. (I’m terrified) I had a hysterectomy 4 years ago and ended up with sepsis, e-coli, c-diff, just to name a few. It nearly ended my life. I’ll keep you guys updated when I know more. Thanks to everyone that has helped me along the way and to those that will continue to do so.
  26. 1 point
    For those who can not make it to Washington, DC next week, we're pleased to announce a livestream will be available for the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus briefing. Rare Disease Legislative Advocates with honorary co-hosts Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Co-Chairs of the Rare Disease Congressional Caucus, invite you to a lunch briefing: The Diagnostic Odyssey Tuesday, December 4, 2018, from 12:00 p.m. until 1:00 p.m. 121 Cannon House Office Building Complimentary lunch included Registration available on-site Register for the event livestream by clicking this link. If you have questions about the briefing, please email Shannon von Felden, RDLA Program Manager, at svonfelden@everylifefoundation.org.
  27. 1 point
    Pituitary Tumors Affect Patients’ Ability to Work, Reduce Quality of Life Pituitary tumor conditions, such as Cushing’s disease, have a substantial effect on patients’ work capabilities and health-related quality of life, researchers from The Netherlands reported. The study, “Work disability and its determinants in patients with pituitary tumor-related disease,” was published in the journal Pituitary. Pituitary tumors, like those that cause Cushing’s disease, have significant effects on a patient’s physical, mental, and social health, all of which influence their work status and health-related quality of life. However, the effects of the disease on work status is relatively under-investigated, investigators report. Here, researchers evaluated the work disability among patients who were treated for pituitary tumors in an attempt to understand the impact of disease diagnosis and treatment on their social participation and ability to maintain a paying job. In their study, researchers examined 241 patients (61% women) with a median age of 53 years. The majority (27%) had non-functioning pituitary tumors, which do not produce excess hormones, but patients with acromegaly, Cushing’s disease, prolactinomas, and Rathke’s cleft cyst also were included. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires to evaluate their health-related quality of life and disease-specific impact on their work capabilities. Each participant completed a set of five questionnaires. Participants also reported their hormonal status and demographic data, including gender, age, education, and marital status. Specific information, such as disease diagnosis, treatment, and tumor type was obtained from their medical records. Work status and productivity were assessed using two surveys, the Short-Form-Health and Labour Questionnaire (SF-HLQ) and the work role functioning questionnaire 2.0 (WRFQ). SF-HLQ was used to obtain information on the participants’ employment and their work attendance. Employment was either paid or unpaid. (Participation in household chores was considered not having a paid job.) WRFQ is a 27-question survey that determines work disability regarding being able to meet the productivity, physical, emotional, social, and flexible demands. A higher score indicates low self-perceived work disability. Disease-specific mood problems, social and sexual functioning issues, negative perceptions due to illness, physical and cognitive difficulties, were assessed using a 26-item survey called Leiden Bother and Needs for Support Questionnaire for pituitary patients(LBNQ-Pituitary). Overall, 28% of patients did not have a paid job, but the rates increased to 47% among those with Cushing’s disease. Low education, hormonal deficits, and being single were identified as the most common determinants of not having a paid job among this population. Further analysis revealed that more patients with Cushing’s disease and acromegaly had undergone radiotherapy. They also had more hormonal deficits than others with different tumor types. Overall, patients with a paid job reported working a median of 36 hours in one week and 41% of those patients missed work an average of 27 days during the previous year. Health-related problems during work also were reported by 39% with a paid job. Finally, health-related quality of life was determined using two questionnaires: SF-36 and EQ-5D. The physical, mental, and emotional well being was measured with SF-36, while ED-5D measured the health outcome based on the impact of pain, mobility, self-care, usual activities, discomfort, and anxiety or depression. In both SF-36 and EQ-5D, a higher score indicates a better health status. Statistical analysis revealed that the quality of life was significantly higher in patients with a job. Overall, patients with a paid job reported better health status and higher quality of life than those without a paid job. Although 40% of the patients reported being bothered by health-related problems in the past year, only 12% sought the help of an occupational physician, the researchers reported. “Work disability among patients with a pituitary tumor is substantial,” investigators said. “The determinants and difficulties at work found in this study could potentially be used for further research, and we advise healthcare professionals to take these results into consideration in the clinical guidance of patients,” they concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/
  28. 1 point
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the clinical use of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner — the ultra-high-field 7T Terra MRI — with unprecedented resolution that allows for more reliable images of the brain. The approach recently allowed the precise localization of a small tumor in the pituitary gland, which standard MRI had failed to spot, in a patient with Cushing’s disease. So far, only one scanner of this kind exists in the U.S.. It was installed in February 2017 at the Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute (INI) of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (USC). The new scanner has an increased magnetic field strength of 7 Tesla, which is more than four times that of conventional MRI. This property greatly improves the instrument’s signal-to-noise ratio, dramatically increasing the spatial resolution and contrast of its images so that scientists can visualize the human living brain in high-definition and with unprecedented detail. The 7T Terra is ideal for high-resolution neuroimaging, exploration of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and diagnosis and treatment of other brain diseases, a USC news story by Zara Greenbaum states. Earlier this year, a report described the case of women with Cushing’s disease with a pituitary adenoma (slow-growing, benign tumor in the pituitary gland) that was possible to localize only with the new 7T MRI. Based on laboratory analysis that revealed high levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone(ACTH) and cortisol, the doctors suspected a pituitary adenoma and recommended the patient for surgery. However, they ignored the precise location of the tumor, which failed to be detected by standard MRI scanners (1T and 3T). Two hours before surgery, the woman underwent a 7T MRI scan which finally identified with high precision the location of the adenoma, a very small tumor of 8 mm on the right side of the pituitary gland. “The 7T may save patients an invasive procedure. It also makes it easier for neurosurgeons to selectively remove a tumor without damaging surrounding areas,” said Gabriel Zada, MD, associate professor of neurological surgery at the Keck School. Since its arrival, the device has supported exploratory research into both healthy and diseased brains. Now the scanner’s advanced imaging technology can be used to help with diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients with neurological diseases, including Cushing’s disease. “This device, which has already made its mark as a powerful tool to advance research in the neurosciences, is now accessible to clinical populations in addition to researchers,” said Arthur W. Toga, PhD, provost professor and chair at the Keck School and director of the USC Stevens INI. “Clinicians across the university and beyond can now leverage all the benefits of increased spatial resolution to serve patients in need,” he said. Adapted from https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/11/06/fda-oks-high-resolution-mri-better-spotting-pituitary-tumor-cushings/
  29. 1 point
    If you’ve got your finger on the pulse of health trends, it’s likely you’ve been hearing the current buzzwords “cortisol creates belly fat” and “cortisol causes muscle wasting and fat storage.” These are the type of catch phrases that gain momentum every few years. And although some of the fads and trends showing up seasonally in fitness are myths, this caution about chronically elevated cortisol is true. Cortisol is also deeply connected with the dangers of chronic inflammation, which I described in another article, “Inflammation Creates Diseases.” Like many hormones, cortisol has an effect on a wide variety of functions in the body. Although it’s getting particularly demonized lately, cortisol serves some very important and positive functions in the body. It’s an essential component of the flight or flight response, so it gives us energy, focus, strength, motivation and courage. But, like with sugar or caffeine, it comes with a crash that feels like an emotional, psychological and physical drain. Cortisol is important for survival, but we didn’t evolve to have high levels of it all the time. According to hormone.org, cortisol isn’t only a stress hormone: “Because most bodily cells have cortisol receptors, it affects many different functions in the body. Cortisol can help control blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation and assist with memory formulation. It has a controlling effect on salt and water balance and helps control blood pressure. In women, cortisol also supports the developing fetus during pregnancy. All of these functions make cortisol a crucial hormone to protect overall health and well-being.” (hormone.org/hormones-and-health/hormones/cortisol) There are many symptoms of chronically elevated cortisol levels. With that said, the way a spike of cortisol gives you a jolt of energy is by raising blood sugar. It does this by way of gluconeogenesis. This literally means “creating new sugar,” and it happens by way of breaking protein down into amino acids that are then turned into sugar by the liver. What is a large source of protein in the body? Yep, muscles. This is what is meant by “cortisol causes muscle loss.” This in turn contributes to muscle weakness. Whereas normal levels of cortisol help to regulate blood sugar levels by breaking down only a little muscle (which can be replaced with exercise), excessive levels cause muscle wasting. Why does cortisol cause fat gain? Remember those cortisol receptors most cells have? Fat cells have four times as many, so they are particularly responsive to cortisol. Okay, remember all that glucose the cortisol surge dumped into your blood for energy? Well, that also came with an insulin response to get your blood sugar levels back down, and insulin causes energy storage. And where do you store the energy? Yep, in those hypersensitive fat cells that cortisol just turned on. And what happens when you have too much insulin over time? Yep, diabetes. Also, another reason stress can cause emotional and/or binge eating is because cortisol also fires up your sense of purpose, as well as your appetite. So now stress has made you feel motivated…to eat. Emotionally and psychologically, chronically high cortisol can exacerbate depression, anxiety, irritability and lack of emotional control. Cortisol triggers a release of tryptophan oxygenase. This enzyme breaks down tryptophan. Tryptophan is required for creating serotonin. Serotonin gives us the ability to feel happiness, and it also affects appetite, sleep and sexual desire. Since extended exposure to high levels of cortisol inhibits the production of serotonin, all the symptoms of low serotonin become problematic (decreased appetite, insomnia, impotence, etc.). In short, prolonged stress causes depression. Cortisol also plays a role in the circulatory system. It manipulates blood pressure by acting as a diuretic. Excess cortisol causes an electrolyte imbalance, whereby sodium is retained, but potassium is excreted. Let me take you back to your high school biology days: Muscles fire because of the sodium potassium pump. The sodium potassium pump also effects the firing of nerves, including those impulses that cause your heart to beat and your kidneys to take in water for filtration. That sodium potassium pump is important throughout the entire body, across many of its biological functions. Because cortisol increases the concentration of sodium in your body, it has a direct impact on your blood pressure. Remember why excess salt can cause high blood pressure? Because it contains sodium. For all these reasons and more, chronically elevated cortisol also causes muscle weakness (ironic, since short bursts of it temporarily increase strength). Cortisol has other effects on minerals. According to the Hindawi Journal of Sports Medicine, “Cortisol triggers bone mineral resorption (removal) in order to free amino acids for use as an energy source through gluconeogenesis. Cortisol indirectly acts on bone by blocking calcium absorption, which decreases bone cell growth.” As you can see, excess cortisol causes osteoporosis. It also exacerbates other bone mineral density diseases, which means cortisol can leave you literally brittle with stress. Practically anything can become a stressor in the right conditions, and fight or flight is our only biological response to stress. Some triggers of stress include conflict, worry, alcohol and drug consumption, processed foods, excess exercise (especially prolonged and repeated sessions of low-level steady-state cardio training), sleep deprivation, thirst and hunger. As much as possible, protect yourself from stress with rest, relaxation, meditation, play time and healthy foods full of antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and thus the risks for practically all diseases. Jack Kirven completed the MFA in Dance at UCLA, and earned certification as a personal trainer through NASM. His wellness philosophy is founded upon integrated lifestyles as opposed to isolated workouts. Visit him at jackkirven.com and INTEGRE8Twellness.com. Adapted from https://goqnotes.com/61597/stress-cortisol-and-weight-gain/
  30. 1 point
    Strongbridge Biopharma released additional positive results from a Phase 3 trial evaluating whether the company’s investigational therapy Recorlev (levoketoconazole) is safe and effective for people with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. The latest results were presented in the scientific poster “Safety and Efficacy of Levoketoconazole in Cushing Syndrome: Initial Results From the Phase 3 SONICS Study,\” at the 18th Annual Congress of the European NeuroEndocrine Association (ENEA), which took place in Wrocław, Poland, last month. The SONICS study (NCT01838551) was a multi-center, open-label Phase 3 trial evaluating Recorlev’s safety and effectiveness in 94 patients with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. The trial consisted of three parts: a dose-escalation phase to determine the appropriate Recorlev dose that achieved normalization of cortisol levels; a maintenance phase in which patients received the established dose for six months; and a final extended phase, in which patients were treated with Recorlev for an additional six months, with the possibility of dose adjustments. Its primary goal was a reduction in the levels of cortisol in the patients’ urine after six months of maintenance treatment, without any dose increase during that period. Among secondary goals was a reduction in the characteristically high risk of cardiovascular disease in these people, through the assessment of multiple cardiovascular risk markers. Strongbridge announced top-line results of the SONICS study in August, which showed that the trial had reached its primary and secondary goals. It concluded last month. After six months of maintenance therapy, Recorlev successfully lowered to normal the levels of cortisol in 30% of patients without a dose increase. It also led to statistically and clinically significant reductions in cardiovascular risk biomarkers, including blood sugar, cholesterol levels, body weight, and body mass index. Maria Fleseriu, MD, director of the Oregon Health Sciences University Northwest Pituitary Center, presented additional and detailed results of SONICS at the congress. Additional analyses showed that among the 77 patients who completed the dose-escalation phase and entered the study’s maintenance phase, 81% had their cortisol levels normalized. At the end of the six months of maintenance treatment, 29 (53%) of the 55 patients who had their cortisol levels assessed at the beginning of the study and at the end of the maintenance phase had achieved normalization of cortisol levels, regardless of dose increase. Among all patients who completed maintenance treatment (including patients with some missing data) and regardless of dose increase, 38% had achieved normalization of cortisol levels and 48% recorded a 50% or more decrease or normalization. The results also highlighted that Recorlev substantially reduced patients’ cortisol levels regardless of their levels at the study’s beginning (which were on average about five-fold higher than the upper limit of normal). In those patients with the highest levels of cortisol in their urine, Recorlev led to a median reduction of more than 80%. As previously reported, Recorlev was found to be generally well-tolerated, with no new safety concerns, and only 12 participants (12.8%) stopped treatment due to adverse events. Ten patients had three- or five-fold increased levels of alanine aminotransferase — a liver enzyme used to assess liver damage — which were fully resolved without further complications. These liver-related adverse events “were all noted in the first 60 days, thus suggesting a timeline interval for monitoring,” Fleseriu said in a press release. “We continue to be encouraged by the positive efficacy results of SONICS and the overall benefit-to-risk profile of Recorlev and look forward to sharing additional planned analyses from the study in the near future,” said Fredric Cohen, Strongbridge’s chief medical officer. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/11/01/new-data-from-phase-3-trial-supports-recorlev-ability-to-safely-treat-cushings-syndrome/
  31. 1 point
    Treatment with fluconazole after cabergoline eased symptoms and normalized cortisol levels in a patient with recurrent Cushing’s disease who failed to respond to ketoconazole, a case study reports. The case report, “Fluconazole as a Safe and Effective Alternative to Ketoconazole in Controlling Hypercortisolism of Recurrent Cushing’s Disease: A Case Report,” was published in the International Journal of Endocrinology Metabolism. Ketoconazole, (brand name Nizoral, among others) is an anti-fungal treatment used off-label for Cushing’s disease to prevent excess cortisol production, a distinct symptom of the disease. However, severe side effects associated with its use often result in treatment discontinuation and have led to its unavailability or restriction in many countries. Consequently, there is a need for alternative medications that help manage disease activity and clinical symptoms without causing adverse reactions, and that could be given to patients who do not respond to ketoconazole treatment. In this case report, researchers in Malaysia reported on a 50-year-old woman who fared well with fluconazole treatment after experiencing severe side effects with ketoconazole. The woman had been in remission for 16 years after a transsphenoidal surgery — a minimally invasive brain surgery to remove a pituitary tumor — but went to the clinic with a three-year history of high blood pressure and gradual weight gain. She also showed classic symptoms of Cushing’s disease: moon face, fragile skin that bruised easily, and purple stretch marks on her thighs. Blood and urine analysis confirmed high cortisol levels, consistent with a relapse of the pituitary tumor. Accordingly, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her brain showed the presence of a small tumor on the right side of the pituitary gland, confirming the diagnosis of recurrent Cushing’s disease. Doctors performed another transsphenoidal surgery to remove the tumor, and a brain MRI then confirmed the success of the surgery. However, her blood and urine cortisol levels remained markedly high, indicating persistent disease activity. The patient refused radiation therapy or adrenal gland removal surgery, and was thus prescribed ketoconazole twice daily for managing the disease. But after one month on ketoconazole, she experienced low cortisol levels. Hydrocortisone — a synthetic cortisol hormone — was administered to maintain steady cortisol levels. However, she developed severe skin itching and peeling, which are known side effects of ketoconazole. She also suffered a brain bleeding episode, for which she had to have a craniotomy to remove the blood clot. Since she experienced adverse effects on ketoconazole, which also hadn’t decreased her disease activity, the doctors switched her to cabergoline. Cabergoline (marketed as Dostinex, among others) is a dopamine receptor agonist that has been shown to be effective in managing Cushing’s disease. But cabergoline treatment also did not lower the disease activity, and her symptoms persisted. The doctors then added fluconazole (marketed as Diflucan, among others), an anti-fungal medication, based on studies that showed promising results in managing Cushing’s syndrome. Three months after the addition of fluconazole to her treatment plan, the patient’s clinical symptoms and cortisol levels had responded favorably. At her next clinical visit 15 months later, her condition remained stable with no adverse events. “This case demonstrates the long-term efficacy of fluconazole in tandem with cabergoline for the control of recurrent Cushing’s disease,” the researchers wrote. The favorable outcome in this case also “supports the notion that fluconazole is a viable substitute for ketoconazole in the medical management of this rare but serious condition,” they concluded. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/09/27/fluconazole-safe-effective-alternative-recurrent-cushings-patient-case-report/
  32. 1 point
    It's not nearly as rare as some doctors think. Honestly, most of us have bad experiences with at least one endo so that's a possibility but fingers crossed you get one that's willing to listen and will let you do some testing; push for testing. Do your research, read as much as you can before the appointment - bring pictures of your physical changes if you have them and write down your symptoms. I never saw Dr. F for diagnosis but his website and the boards were the best thing ever for me. His site has lots of good articles so I would read everything there http://www.goodhormonehealth.com/cushings-patients/ and read old postings from these boards.
  33. 1 point
    Cushing's Podcast Interview Information Scheduled Interviews If you want to be interviewed, please choose "yes" on this form A time will be arranged for your interview. On that day, please call the guest call-in number about 5-10 minutes before the interview is scheduled. You can chat informally with the MaryO before the chat begins. You will hear the BlogTalk lady say "BlogTalkRadio" and there will be some Cushing's theme music followed by your introduction and welcome. The first question will be asked. Talk normally, just like you're on the phone chatting with friends. Archived audio is available through BlogTalkRadio or through iTunes Podcasts This player will play either the last recorded show or, if the show is currently occurring, you can hear the live show. Subscribe to the CushingsHelp podcasts on iTunes Think of our podcast as a radio show on Cushing's. The show consists of many "episodes". You can listen on your computer, or your iPods, completely free of charge. To listen, you will need to "subscribe" to the podcast feed using a "podcatcher" application such as iTunes. After you subscribe, each time you launch iTunes, it will automatically check if new episodes are available and if yes, it will download the most recent episode to your computer for you to hear. Then you can sync your iPod with iTunes to get the show onto your iPod for listening on the go. For help in subscribing to podcasts with iTunes, you can use this tutorial from Apple or if you're iTunes savvy, you can subscribe now! To be interviewed, please be sure to include your name, email address and check the box that says "Would you like to be considered for a phone interview?"
  34. 1 point
    Thank you Mary! This helps my anxiety over results.
  35. 1 point
    I asked some of the other Cushies I know. One said: "I was dx with dex suppression test. Normal levels in AM, normal 24 hr urine."
  36. 1 point
    MEKT1 Could Be a Potential New Therapy for Treating Cushing’s Disease PPAR-γ agonists — agents that activate PPAR-γ — include the medications rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, both of which are used to treat type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that rosiglitazone and pioglitazone have an effect on Pomc suppression, which would lead to lower levels of ACTH and help treat patients with Cushing’s disease. However, the benefits of PPAR-γ agonists in the treatment of Cushing’s disease are still controversial. Read more at https://cushieblog.com/2018/08/02/mekt1-could-be-a-potential-new-therapy-for-treating-cushings-disease/
  37. 1 point
    New Testimonial From Melanie C I remember my first guest post in 2007, was overjoyed to find I wasn't the only medical anomaly lol! Congratulations to Cushing's Help for coming of age! ? Posted at https://cushieblogger.com/testimonial/melanie-c/
  38. 1 point
    Cushings Help is almost 18! It's unbelievable but the idea for Cushing's Help and Support arrived 18 years ago tonight. Read more at https://cushieblogger.com/2018/07/20/were-almost-18/
  39. 1 point
    Only 8 days until the Cushing’s Awareness Challenge 2018 begins. At night, when I’m supposed to be sleeping, ideas for posts keep swarming through my head. Sometimes, they form into fully-written posts. Then, when I wake up, the posts are gone. I plan to follow the suggestions to some extent and have a few ideas of my own. Over the years, I’ve posted lots on several blogs but I don’t know if I can get 30 days of Cushing’s stuff together...again! This is the eighth year of the Cushing's Awareness Challenge. The list of bloggers is on the right side and is constantly updated as new URLs come in. If you want to join us, it's not too late. Directions and suggestions for posts can be found here: https://cushieblogger.com/2018/03/11/time-to-sign-up-for-the-cushings-awareness-challenge-2018/ If you have ideas for what you’d like to read about (Cushing’s related, of course), please feel free to put it in the comments area.
  40. 1 point
    A noninvasive 7 Tesla MRI scanner at University of Southern California is the first 7T scanner to be used on a patient with Cushing's disease in the U.S., according to a USC news release. When a brain tumor was found to be "MRI-negative" in a 28-year-old female patient, physicians at the USC's Pituitary Center were unsatisfied with the results. After deciding to use the Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute's (INI) new ultrahigh field 7 Tesla MRI scanner to localize the tumor, the patient was officially diagnosed with Cushing's disease and researchers were finally able to see the tumor that would've otherwise appeared hidden in a standard MRI. Cushing's disease is caused by a pituitary microadenoma, or very small tumor, which results in chronically elevated cortisol. Symptoms include weight gain, skin bruising and hair loss and if left untreated, the condition can be fatal. Because of this case, USC researchers believe the 7T scanner will be able to replace the standard, and invasive, method of clinical diagnosis, according to the news release. “It’s clear that this is the beginning of a new frontier for ultrahigh field MR technologies,” said Arthur Toga, PhD, director of the INI, in a prepared statement. “The enhanced image quality opens many doors for neuroscientists in both research and clinical settings.” From http://www.healthimaging.com/topics/neuroimaging/uscs-7-tesla-mri-scanner-first-identify-cushings-disease-us-patient
  41. 1 point
    I plan to do the Cushing's Awareness Challenge again. Last year's info is here: https://cushieblogger.com/2017/03/08/time-to-sign-up-for-the-cushings-awareness-challenge-2017/ The original page is getting very slow loading, so I've moved my own posts to this newer blog. As always, anyone who wants to join me can share their blog URL with me and I'll add it to the links on the right side, so whenever a new post comes up, it will show up automatically. If the blogs are on WordPress, I try to reblog them all to get even more exposure on the blog, on Twitter and on Facebook at Cushings Help Organization, Inc. If you have photos, and you give me permission, I'll add them to the Pinterest page for Cushing's Help. The Cushing’s Awareness Challenge is almost upon us again! Do you blog? Want to get started? Since April 8 is Cushing’s Awareness Day, several people got their heads together to create the Eighth Annual Cushing’s Awareness Blogging Challenge. All you have to do is blog about something Cushing’s related for the 30 days of April. There will also be a logo for your blog to show you’ve participated. Please let me know the URL to your blog in the comments area of this post, on the Facebook page, in one of the Cushing's Help Facebook Groups, on the message boards or an email and I will list it on CushieBloggers ( http://cushie-blogger.blogspot.com/) The more people who participate, the more the word will get out about Cushing’s. Suggested topics – or add your own! In what ways have Cushing’s made you a better person? What have you learned about the medical community since you have become sick? If you had one chance to speak to an endocrinologist association meeting, what would you tell them about Cushing’s patients? What would you tell the friends and family of another Cushing’s patient in order to garner more emotional support for your friend? challenge with Cushing’s? How have you overcome challenges? Stuff like that. I have Cushing’s Disease….(personal synopsis) How I found out I have Cushing’s What is Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome? (Personal variation, i.e. adrenal or pituitary or ectopic, etc.) My challenges with Cushing’s Overcoming challenges with Cushing’s (could include any challenges) If I could speak to an endocrinologist organization, I would tell them…. What would I tell others trying to be diagnosed? What would I tell families of those who are sick with Cushing’s? Treatments I’ve gone through to try to be cured/treatments I may have to go through to be cured. What will happen if I’m not cured? I write about my health because… 10 Things I Couldn’t Live Without. My Dream Day. What I learned the hard way Miracle Cure. (Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer) Give yourself, your condition, or your health focus a mascot. Is it a real person? Fictional? Mythical being? Describe them. Bonus points if you provide a visual! 5 Challenges & 5 Small Victories. The First Time I… Make a word cloud or tree with a list of words that come to mind when you think about your blog, health, or interests. Use a thesaurus to make it branch more. How much money have you spent on Cushing’s, or, How did Cushing’s impact your life financially? Why do you think Cushing’s may not be as rare as doctors believe? What is your theory about what causes Cushing’s? How has Cushing’s altered the trajectory of your life? What would you have done? Who would you have been What three things has Cushing’s stolen from you? What do you miss the most? What can you do in your Cushing’s life to still achieve any of those goals? What new goals did Cushing’s bring to you? How do you cope? What do you do to improve your quality of life as you fight Cushing’s? How Cushing’s affects children and their families Your thoughts…?
  42. 1 point
    Rare Disease Day Each and every day since 1987, I tell anyone who will listen about Cushing’s... Read more at https://cushieblogger.com/2018/02/28/rare-disease-day/
  43. 1 point
    In Europe, nearly 20 percent of patients with Cushing’s syndrome receive some sort of medication for the disease before undergoing surgery, a new study shows. Six months after surgery, these patients had remission and mortality rates similar to those who received surgery as a first-line treatment, despite having worse disease manifestations when the study began. However, preoperative medication may limit doctors’ ability to determine the immediate success of surgery, researchers said. Read more at https://cushieblog.com/2018/02/26/benefits-of-medication-before-surgery-for-cushings-syndrome-still-unclear/
  44. 1 point
    Sign Up and Enjoy Patient Benefits To join our database and to receive a $5 gift card if you qualify, please complete the form below. Currently, we are looking for patients and caregivers with many different rare conditions. Please fill out the sign-up form below and we’ll let you know if you qualify. If you are the caregiver of more than one patient, or are both a patient and caregiver, please fill out a separate entry for each and you will receive multiple gift cards. Please be aware that each entry is checked individually. Please include your correct personal phone number as we will call you to verify your information. It may take up to four weeks before you receive your gift card if you qualify. Read more about how we use your information. At this time we are accepting patients and caregivers across all diseases and conditions. However, that does not guarantee we will have surveys for you. If there are not any companies that have treatments available, or there are no companies developing treatments, then there would be no sponsors for surveys. But we are always looking for sponsors for all disease categories! Only one caregiver per household, please! That is because our survey sponsors won’t allow more than one response from caregivers in the same household. If you have more than one caregiver, you can decide which of you can do each survey. Please be aware that the rewards you earn from participating in market research, like all income you receive, is considered taxable by the IRS. We are required to submit form 1099 for each patient or caregiver whom we pay $600 or more in a year. We are proud to say that we’ve rewarded patients with over $2.1 million for participating in surveys in the past four years! Register here!
  45. 1 point
    Usually, you have to do a LOT of 24-hour UFCs to get diagnosed. One just doesn't get it. When I was being diagnosed, I did several weeks of daily UFCS. Are you seeing a good endocrinologist who is knowledgeable about Cushing's? Please keep us posted.
  46. 1 point
    Hi, Amy - I had most of the same symptoms as you but I was always "chunky". I thought I was pregnant when I noticed my first symptom - loss of my periods. Even though I was faithfully working out most days at my gym and was on track with my foods with Weight Watchers, I gained weight. And tired/exhaustion/fatigue was with me daily. It took about 5 years for a diagnosis. My whole bio is here (although it needs an update): https://cushingsbios.com/2013/04/29/maryo-pituitary-bio/ Why not join these boards so you can read everything we've written about the symptoms you're experiencing now? Best of luck to you!
  47. 1 point
    By Tori Rodriguez, MA, LPC In the early 20th century, the term "pluriglandular syndrome" was coined by Harvey Cushing to describe the disorder that results from chronic tissue exposure to excessive levels of glucocorticoids.1 Now called Cushing's syndrome, the condition affects an estimated 10-15 million people annually, most often women and individuals between the ages of 20 and 50 years.2 Risk factors and common comorbidities include hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, uncontrolled diabetes, depression, and anxiety.3 Presentation The clinical presentation of the disorder is heterogenous and varies by sex, age, and disease severity. Common signs and symptoms include central adiposity, roundness of the face or extra fat around the neck, thin skin, impaired short-term memory and concentration, irritability, hirsutism in women, fatigue, and menstrual irregularity.4 Because each of these features may be observed in a wide range of other conditions, it may be difficult to diagnose cases that are not severe. "It can be challenging to differentiate the milder forms from pseudo-Cushing's states," which are characterized by altered cortisol production and many of the same clinical features as Cushing's syndrome, according to Roberto Salvatori, MD, the medical director of the Johns Hopkins Pituitary Center, Baltimore, Maryland. These may include alcoholism, obesity, eating disorders, and depression. "Because Cushing's can cause depression, for example, it is sometimes difficult to determine which came first," he says. In these states, however, hypercortisolism is believed to be driven by increased secretion of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone, which is suppressed in Cushing's syndrome.5 Causes and Diagnosis If Cushing's syndrome is suspected on the basis of the patient's physical appearance, the diagnostic workup should include a thorough medical history, physical exam, and 1 or more of the following tests to establish hypercortisolism: the 24-hour urinary cortisol test, the low-dose dexamethasone suppression test, or the late-night salivary cortisol test. "We sometimes use 2 or 3 of these tests since 1 may not accurately reflect cortisol production in a particular patient," Dr Salvatori notes. The next step is to determine the source of the hypercortisolism, which may involve the high-dose dexamethasone suppression test, magnetic resonance imaging, or petrosal sinus sampling.2 Medication is the most common cause of Cushing's syndrome. These iatrogenic or exogenous cases typically result from corticosteroids administered for conditions such as asthma, allergies, and autoimmune disorders.6 More rarely, the disorder can be caused by the use of medroxyprogesterone. In these cases, corticosteroids should be reduced or discontinued under medical care, if possible. Endogenous Cushing's syndrome results from the presence of benign or malignant tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands or elsewhere in the body. These tumors can interfere with the adrenal glands' production of cortisol that is usually prompted by the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) released by the pituitary gland.6 There are 3 different mechanisms by which the process can occur. Pituitary adenomas, which account for approximately 70% of endogenous cases of Cushing's syndrome, secrete ACTH and stimulate additional cortisol production. Because of the large proportion of cases this condition represents, it is specifically referred to as Cushing's disease. It is more common in women than men (with a ratio of 3 to 4:1), although in pediatric patients, it occurs more frequently in boys vs girls.5 Adrenal tumors (adenomas, malignant tumors, or micronodular hyperplasia) produce cortisol in their own tissue in addition to the amount produced by the adrenal glands. These tumors, which cause approximately 15% of endogenous Cushing's syndrome cases, are more common in children vs adults and in women vs men. Benign or malignant tumors elsewhere in the body, most often the lungs, thyroid, thymus, and pancreas, secrete ACTH and trigger the excessive release of cortisol. An estimated 15% of endogenous cases are attributed to these types of tumors. Treatment Surgery is the first-line treatment for Cushing's syndrome. "We first want to try to figure out the cause of the disorder," Dr Salvatori says. "Ideally, treatment involves surgery to remove the tumor that is causing it." When surgery is unsuccessful, contraindicated, or delayed, other treatment options include radiation or medications that inhibit cortisol, modulate the release of ACTH, or inhibit steroidogenesis.5 Bilateral adrenalectomy may be indicated for patients who do not respond to medication or other surgery. If surgical resection of the tumor is successful, then "all of the comorbidities reverse, but if it is unsuccessful or must be delayed, you would treat each comorbidity" with the appropriate medication; for example, antihypertensives for high blood pressure and antidiabetic medications for diabetes, Dr Salvatori advises. In severe cases, prophylactic antibiotics may be indicated for the prevention of severe infections such as pneumonia. It is also important to inquire about and address psychiatric symptoms related to Cushing's syndrome, even in patients who are in remission. It has been proposed that the chronic hypercortisolism and dysfunction of the HPA axis may "lead to structural and functional changes in the central nervous system, developing brain atrophy, particularly in the hippocampus, which may determine the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders, such as affective and anxiety disorders or cognitive dysfunctions," according to a recently published paper on the topic.7 Patients should be screened with self-report questionnaires such as the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and management of psychiatric symptoms may include patient education, psychotropic medications, and referral to a mental health professional. Future Directions Several trials are currently planned or underway, including a phase 2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of an oral medication called ATR-101 by Millendo Therapeutics, Inc. (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03053271). In addition to the need for novel medical therapies, refined imaging techniques could improve surgical success rates in patients with Cushing's disease in particular, according to Dr Salvatori. "A significant portion of these patients have tumors too small to be detected by MRI, and the development of more sensitive MRI could improve detection and provide a surgical target" for neurosurgeons treating the patients, he says. Summary Milder cases of Cushing's syndrome present diagnostic challenges are a result overlapping features with various other conditions. Diagnosis may require careful observation as well as biochemical and imaging tests. RELATED ARTICLES New Research Highlights Possible Genetic Cause of Cushing's Disease Endocrine Society Releases Guidelines on Treatment of Cushing's Syndrome Pediatric Endocrine Society Provides Guidance for Growth Hormone Use in Pediatric Patients References Loriaux DL. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of Cushing's syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017;376:1451-1459. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1505550 American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Cushing's syndrome/disease. http://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Cushings-Disease. Accessed August 1, 2017. León-Justel A, Madrazo-Atutxa A, Alvarez-Rios AI, et al. A probabilistic model for cushing's syndrome screening in at-risk populations: a prospective multicenter study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016;101:3747-3754. doi:10.1210/jc.2016-1673 The Pituitary Society. Cushing's syndrome and disease–symptoms. https://pituitarysociety.org/patient-education/pituitary-disorders/cushings/symptoms-of-cushings-disease-and-cushings-syndrome. Accessed August 1, 2017. Sharma ST, Nieman LK, Feelders RA. Cushing's syndrome: epidemiology and developments in disease management. Clin Epidemiol. 2015;7:281-293. doi:10.2147/CLEP.S44336 National Institutes of Health: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. What causes Cushing's syndrome?https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/cushing/conditioninfo/pages/causes.aspx. Accessed August 1, 2017. Santos A, Resmini E, Pascual JC, Crespo I, Webb SM. Psychiatric symptoms in patients with Cushing's syndrome: prevalence, diagnosis and management. Drugs. 2017;77:829-842. doi:10.1007/s40265-017-0735-z From http://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/adrenal/cushings-syndrome-diagnosis-treatment/article/682302/
  48. 1 point
    October 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM eastern, Dr. Amir Hamrahian will answer our questions about Cushing's, pituitary or adrenal issues and Korlym (mifepristone) in BlogTalkRadio at http://www.blogtalkr...s-our-questions You may listen live at the link above. The episode will be added to the Cushing's Help podcast after the show is over. Listen to the podcasts by searching for Cushings in the iTunes podcast area or click here: http://itunes.apple....ats/id350591438 Dr. Hamrahian has had patients on Korlym for about 4 years. Please submit your questions below or email them to CushingsHelp@gmail.com before Sunday, September 30. From Dr. Hamrahian's bio at http://my.clevelandc...x?doctorid=3676 Amir Hamrahian, M.D. (216) 444-6568 http://my.clevelandc...5&DoctorID=3676 Appointed: 2000 Request an Appointment Research & Publications † ( † Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.) Biographical Sketch Amir H. Hamrahian, MD, is a Staff member in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Cleveland Clinic's main campus, having accepted that appointment in 2005. Prior to that appointment, he was also a clinical associate there for nearly five years. His clinical interests include pituitary and adrenal disorders. Dr. Hamrahian received his medical degree from Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, and upon graduation was a general practitioner in the provinces of Hamadan and Tehran, Iran. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of North Dakota, Fargo, and an endocrinology fellowship at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, Cleveland. In 2003, he received the Teacher of the Year award from Cleveland Clinic's Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Dr. Hamrahian speaks three languages -- English, Turkish and Farsi -- and is board-certified in internal medicine as well as endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. He is a member of the Endocrine Society, Pituitary Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Education & Fellowships Fellowship - University Hospitals of Cleveland Endocrinology Cleveland, OH USA 2000 Residency - University of North Dakota Hospital Internal Medicine Fargo, ND USA 1997 Medical School - Hacettepe University School of Medicine Ankara Turkey 1991 Certifications Internal Medicine Internal Medicine- Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Specialty Interests Cushing syndrome, acromegaly, pheochromocytoma, prolactinoma, primary aldosteronism, pituitary disorders, adrenal tumor, adrenocortical carcinoma, MEN syndromes, adrenal disorders Awards & Honors Best Doctors in America, 2007-2008 Memberships Pituitary Society Endocrine Society American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists American Medical Association Treatment & Services Radioactive Iodine Treatment Thyroid Aspiration Thyroid Ultrasound Specialty in Diseases and Conditions Acromegaly Addison’s Disease Adrenal disorders Adrenal insufficiency Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison’s Disease Adrenal Tumors Adrenocortical Carcinoma Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) Amenorrhea Androgen Deficiency (Low Testosterone) Androgen Excess Calcium Disorders Carcinoid Syndrome Conn's Syndrome Cushing's Syndrome Empty sella Erectile Dysfunction Familial Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Fasting hypoglycemia Flushing Syndromes Galactorrhea Goiter Growth hormone deficiency Growth hormone excess Gynecomastia Hirsutism Hyperaldosteronism Hyperandrogenism Hyperprolactinemia Hypertension - High Blood Pressure Hyperthyroidism Hypocalcemia Hypoglycemia Hypogonadism Hypoparathyroidism Hypophysitis Hypopituitarism Hypothyroidism Mastocytosis Menopause, Male Menstrual Disorders Paget's Disease Panhypopituitarism Parathyroid Cancer Parathyroid Disease and Calcium Disorders Pheochromocytoma Pituitary Cysts Pituitary Disorders Pituitary stalk lesions Pituitary Tumors Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Primary Hyperaldosteronism Primary Hyperparathyroidism Prolactin Excess States Prolactinoma Thyroid and pregnancy Thyroid Cancer Thyroid Disease Thyroid Nodule
  49. 1 point
    I have several symptoms of Cushings: weight gain around middle, puffy face, extreme fatigue/no energy, feel weak going upstairs, buffalo hump, insomnia, numbness in feet, headache... Do not have: Striae, skin that bruises easily, slow healing cuts, acne, more body hair, absent menstrual periods Other Symptoms: Lymph glands in neck burning/throbbing from time to time, still reoccurring knee pain (Lymes?) Recently diagnosed/treated for Lymes disease Creatinine 1833 (Range 700-1800) Positive Thyroid Antibody test (not extremely high though 76 (Range 0-34) TSH 2.5 in April now 1.650 (Range 0.340-4.820) Free T4 0.74 (range 0.59-1.40) Low Vit D. Treated white cell count normal I took the 24 hour Free urine Cortisol test and it was only 2.5 points above the normal range 52.5 (range 4.0-50.0). I have another appt. with Endo but should I just cancel it as she said unless my Thyroid levels were out of range she would not treat me? I feel so horrible...mainly from the extreme weight gain and fatigue. I don't know what I should do next? Could this be Cushings? Hashimotos (but not affecting my thyroid levels yet), still Lymes disease? Appreciate your insight and Medical Expertise
  50. 1 point
    I am looking for information about doctors wh specialize in Cushing's syndrome in Portland, OR or somewhere around Oregon or Washington. I am 99.99% sure I have Cyclical Cushing's and have had it for the last 16 years. I currently have to endocrinologists at OHSU even though they are great physicians they they are hesitant on diagnosing me with it they want me to have Gastric Bypass, they keep saying Cyclical Cushing's is too rare for me to have. I have had 3 episodes/cycles since I was 16 ... I match pretty much every and I mean every symptom of Cushing's I even have had two high 24 hour Urine Cortisol's, but they did not feel that it is enough to give me the diagnosis. I took in before and after pictures to show the progression of this over the years, I am currently on 700 + units of insulin a day(and my sugar levels still stay between 350-400 daily), 2550mg a day of metfomin, I have developed hypertension, low potassium, an extremely distended stomach (which is really hard on top) my legs and arms are thin, my face is ver, very round and gets red, I have no periods, My muscles are killing me along with my joints and the hump on the back of my neck between my shoulders is huge and is killing me, My ribs are hurting, I have insomnia, panic attacks almost daily, large pink/purple stretch marks, severe edema, severe daytime fatigue, forgetfulness, losing some cognitive skills, a continuous sinus headache, The pain is becoming unbearable in my joints, acne, losing hair, lots of facial hair on cheeks and chin, I am urinating non-stop, my muscles are extremely weak and it is becoming dfficult to walk because my ankles, knees and hips hurt so bad. I am having a hard time walking especially when it's on an incline. I keep stumbling and losing balance(this is recent). Each episode is worse then the one prior... This is my 3rd bout with this and it is awful... I am only 32 y/o and my doctors won't listen... my Endo's at OHSU keep saying eat less and will not refer me to another endo in the office who specializes in this. I have been emailing them, but now they won't even reply, they keep telling me to excersize more, but I can't because it is so painful and I am so tired. Can someone please tell me of other doctors they have seen that heloped them get a final diagnosis? I did have dexamethsone, and ACTH don, but they were normal... I really want an MRI, ultrsound and CAT scan done. I have great insurance, but I feel like I am getting 3rd world care and being passed of as a crazy person. Thank you for any help!
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