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  1. How stressed are you? Your earwax could hold the answer. A new method of collecting and analyzing earwax for levels of the stress hormone cortisol may be a simple and cheap way to track the mental health of people with depression and anxiety. Cortisol is a crucial hormone that spikes when a person is stressed and declines when they're relaxed. In the short-term, the hormone is responsible for the "fight or flight" response, so it's important for survival. But cortisol is often consistently elevated in people with depression and anxiety, and persistent high levels of cortisol can have negative effects on the immune system, blood pressure and other bodily functions. There are other disorders which involve abnormal cortisol, including Cushing's disease (caused by the overproduction of cortisol) and Addison's disease (caused by the underproduction of cortisol). People with Cushing's disease have abnormal fat deposits, weakened immune systems and brittle bones. People with Addison's disease have dangerously low blood pressure. There are a lot of ways to measure cortisol: in saliva, in blood, even in hair. But saliva and blood samples capture only a moment in time, and cortisol fluctuates significantly throughout the day. Even the experience of getting a needle stick to draw blood can increase stress, and thus cortisol levels. Hair samples can provide a snapshot of cortisol over several months instead of several minutes, but hair can be expensive to analyze — and some people don't have much of it. Andrés Herane-Vives, a lecturer at University College London's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and Institute of Psychiatry, and his colleagues instead turned to the ear. Earwax is stable and resistant to bacterial contamination, so it can be shipped to a laboratory easily for analysis. It also can hold a record of cortisol levels stretching over weeks. But previous methods of harvesting earwax involved sticking a syringe into the ear and flushing it out with water, which can be slightly painful and stressful. So Herane-Vives and his colleagues developed a swab that, when used, would be no more stressful than a Q-tip. The swab has a shield around the handle, so that people can't stick it too far into their ear and damage their eardrum, and a sponge at the end to collect the wax. In a small pilot study, researchers collected blood, hair and earwax from 37 participants at two different time points. At each collection point, they sampled earwax using a syringe from one ear, and using the new self-swab method from the other. The researchers then compared the reliability of the cortisol measurements from the self-swab earwax with that of the other methods. They found that cortisol was more concentrated in earwax than in hair, making for easier analysis. Analyzing the self-swabbed earwax was also faster and more efficient than analyzing the earwax from the syringe, which had to be dried out before using. Finally, the earwax showed more consistency in cortisol levels compared with the other methods, which were more sensitive to fluctuations caused by things like recent alcohol consumption. Participants also said that self-swabbing was more comfortable than the syringe method. The researchers reported their findings Nov. 2 in the journal Heliyon. Herane-Vives is also starting a company called Trears to market the new method. In the future, he hopes that earwax could also be used to monitor other hormones. The researchers also need to follow up with studies of Asian individuals, who were left out of this pilot study because a significant number only produce dry, flaky earwax as opposed to wet, waxy earwax. "After this successful pilot study, if our device holds up to further scrutiny in larger trials, we hope to transform diagnostics and care for millions of people with depression or cortisol-related conditions such as Addison's disease and Cushing syndrome, and potentially numerous other conditions," he said in a statement. Originally published in Live Science.
    3 points
  2. Christina Tatsi, Maria E. Bompou, Chelsi Flippo, Meg Keil, Prashant Chittiboina, Constantine A. Stratakis First published: 25 August 2021 https://doi.org/10.1111/cen.14560 Abstract Objective Diagnostic workup of Cushing disease (CD) involves imaging evaluation of the pituitary gland, but in many patients no tumour is visualised. The aim of this study is to describe the association of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings with the postoperative course of paediatric and adolescent patients with CD. Patients Patients with a diagnosis of CD at less than 21 years of age with MRI evaluation of the pituitary before first transsphenoidal surgery were included. Measurements Clinical, imaging and biochemical data were analysed. Results One hundred and eighty-six patients with paediatric or adolescent-onset CD were included in the study. Of all patients, 127 (68.3%) had MRI findings consistent with pituitary adenoma, while the remaining had negative or inconclusive MRI. Patients with negative MRI were younger in age and had lower morning cortisol and adrenocorticotropin levels. Of 181 patients with data on postoperative course, patients with negative MRI had higher odds of not achieving remission after the first surgery (odds ratio = 2.6, 95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 1.1–6.0) compared to those with positive MRI. In patients with remission after first transsphenoidal surgery, long-term recurrence risk was not associated with the detection of a pituitary adenoma in the preoperative MRI (hazard risk = 2.1, 95% CI = 0.7–5.8). Conclusions Up to one-third of paediatric and adolescent patients with CD do not have a pituitary tumour visualised in MRI. A negative MRI is associated with higher odds of nonremission after surgery; however, if remission is achieved, long-term risk for recurrence is not associated with the preoperative MRI findings. Full text at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cen.14560
    2 points
  3. SAN DIEGO, CA, USA I August 10, 2021 I Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRNX), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics for rare endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors, today announced positive preliminary findings from the single ascending dose (SAD) portion of a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical study with CRN04894 demonstrating pharmacologic proof-of-concept for this first-in-class, investigational, oral, nonpeptide adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) antagonist that is being developed for the treatment of conditions of ACTH excess, including Cushing’s disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. “ACTH is the central hormone of the endocrine stress response. Even though we’ve known about its clinical significance for more than 100 years, there has never been an ACTH antagonist available to intervene in diseases of excess stress hormones. This is an important milestone for the field of endocrinology and for our company,” said Scott Struthers, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of Crinetics. “I am extremely proud of our team that conceived, discovered and developed CRN04894 this far. This is the second molecule to emerge from our in-house discovery efforts and demonstrate pharmacologic proof of concept. I am very excited to see what it can do in upcoming clinical studies.” The 39 healthy volunteers who enrolled in the SAD cohorts were administered oral doses of CRN04894 (10 mg to 80 mg, or placebo) two hours prior to a challenge with synthetic ACTH. Analyses of basal cortisol levels (before ACTH challenge) showed that CRN04894 produced a rapid and dose-dependent reduction of cortisol by 25-56%. After challenge with a supra-pathophysiologic dose of ACTH (250 mcg), CRN04894 suppressed cortisol (as measured by AUC) up to 41%. After challenge with a disease-relevant dose of ACTH (1 mcg), CRN04894 showed a clinically meaningful reduction in cortisol AUC of 48%. These reductions in cortisol suggest that CRN04894 is bound with high affinity to its target receptor on the adrenal gland and blocking the activity of ACTH. CRN04894 was well tolerated in the healthy volunteers who enrolled in these SAD cohorts and all adverse events were considered mild. “We are very encouraged by these single ascending dose data which clearly demonstrate proof of ACTH antagonism with CRN04894 exposure in healthy volunteers,” stated Alan Krasner, M.D., chief medical officer of Crinetics. “We look forward to completing this study and assessing results from the multiple ascending dose cohorts. As a clinical endocrinologist, I recognize the pioneering nature of this work and eagerly look forward to further understanding the potential of CRN04894 for the treatment of diseases of ACTH excess.” Data Review Conference Call Crinetics will hold a conference call and live audio webcast today, August 10, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the results of the CRN04894 SAD cohorts. To participate, please dial 800-772-3714 (domestic) or 212-271-4615 (international) and refer to conference ID 21996541. To access the webcast, please visit the Events page on the Crinetics website. The archived webcast will be available for 90 days. About the CRN04894-01 Phase 1 Study Crinetics is enrolling healthy volunteers in this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 1 study of CRN04894. Participants will be divided into multiple cohorts in the single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple ascending dose (MAD) phases of the study. In the SAD phase, safety and pharmacokinetics are assessed. In addition, pharmacodynamic responses are evaluated before and after challenges with injected synthetic ACTH to assess pharmacologic effects resulting from exposure to CRN04894. In the MAD phase, participants will be administered placebo or ascending doses of study drug daily for 10 days. Assessments of safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will also be performed after repeat dosing. About CRN04894 Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is synthesized and secreted by the pituitary gland and binds to melanocortin type 2 receptor (MC2R), which is selectively expressed in the adrenal gland. This interaction of ACTH with MCR2 stimulates the adrenal production of cortisol, a stress hormone that is involved in the regulation of many systems. Cortisol is involved for example in the regulation of blood sugar levels, metabolism, inflammation, blood pressure, and memory formulation, and excess adrenal androgen production can result in hirsutism, menstrual dysfunction, infertility in men and women, acne, cardiometabolic comorbidities and insulin resistance. Diseases associated with excess of ACTH, therefore, can have significant impact on physical and mental health. Crinetics’ ACTH antagonist, CRN04894, has exhibited strong binding affinity for MC2R in preclinical models and demonstrated suppression of adrenally derived glucocorticoids and androgens that are under the control of ACTH, while maintaining mineralocorticoid production. About Cushing’s Disease and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Cushing’s disease is a rare disease with a prevalence of approximately 10,000 patients in the United States. It is more common in women, between 30 and 50 years of age. Cushing’s disease often takes many years to diagnose and may well be under-diagnosed in the general population as many of its symptoms such as lethargy, depression, obesity, hypertension, hirsutism, and menstrual irregularity can be incorrectly attributed to other more common disorders. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) encompasses a set of disorders that are caused by genetic mutations that result in impaired cortisol synthesis with a prevalence of approximately 27,000 patients in the United States. This lack of cortisol leads to a loss of feedback mechanisms and results in persistently high levels of ACTH, which in turn causes overstimulation of the adrenal cortex. The resulting adrenal hyperplasia and over-secretion of other steroids (particularly androgens) and steroid precursors can lead to a variety of effects from improper gonadal development to life-threatening adrenal crisis. About Crinetics Pharmaceuticals Crinetics Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapeutics for rare endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors. The company’s lead product candidate, paltusotine, is an investigational, oral, selective nonpeptide somatostatin receptor type 2 agonist for the treatment of acromegaly, an orphan disease affecting more than 26,000 people in the United States. A Phase 3 program to evaluate safety and efficacy of paltusotine for the treatment of acromegaly is underway. Crinetics also plans to advance paltusotine into a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of carcinoid syndrome associated with neuroendocrine tumors. The company is also developing CRN04777, an investigational, oral, nonpeptide somatostatin receptor type 5 (SST5) agonist for congenital hyperinsulinism, as well as CRN04894, an investigational, oral, nonpeptide ACTH antagonist for the treatment of Cushing’s disease, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and other diseases of excess ACTH. All of the company’s drug candidates are new chemical entities resulting from in-house drug discovery efforts and are wholly owned by the company. SOURCE: Crinetics Pharmaceuticals From https://pipelinereview.com/index.php/2021081178950/Small-Molecules/Crinetics-Pharmaceuticals-Oral-ACTH-Antagonist-CRN04894-Demonstrates-Pharmacologic-Proof-of-Concept-with-Dose-Dependent-Cortisol-Suppression-in-Single-Ascending-Dose-Port.html
    2 points
  4. All of our country is very encouraged by the declining rates in both COVID-19 infections and death, due mostly to President Trump’s vaccine production and trial effort called Operation Warp Speed and President Biden’s vaccine distribution efforts. As of July 2021, The United States has administered 334,600,770 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 184,132,768 people had received at least one dose while 159,266,536 people are fully vaccinated. The pandemic is by no means over, as people are still getting infected with COVID-19 with the emergence of the Delta Variant. In fact, recently cases, hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 have gone up. In Los Angeles, the increased infection rate has led to indoor mask requirements. The main reason that COVID-19 has not been eliminated is because of vaccine hesitancy, which is often due to misinformation propagated on websites and social media. One of Dr. Friedman's patients gave him a link of an alternative doctor who gave multiple episodes of misinformation subtitled “Evidence suggests people who have received the COVID “vaccine” may have a reduced lifespan” about the COVID-19 vaccine that Dr. Friedman wants to address. Almost 30% of American say they will not get the vaccine, up from 20% a few months ago. Statistics are that people who are vaccinated have a 1:1,000,000 chance of dying from COVID, while people who are unvaccinated have a 1:500 chance of dying from COVID. I think most people would take the 1:1,000,000 risk. Dr. Friedman has always been a proponent of the COVID-19 vaccine because he is a scientist and bases his decisions on peer-reviewed literature and not social media posts. As we are getting to the stage where the COVID-19 pandemic could end if vaccination rates increase, he feels that it is even more important for people to get correct information about the COVID-19 vaccine. MYTH: People are dying at high rates from the COVID-19 vaccine and the rates of complications and deaths are underreported. FACT: The rates of complications and deaths from the vaccine are overreported. It is a fact that when 200 million people get a vaccine, some of them will get blood clots, some of them will have a heart attack, some of them will have strokes, some of them will have optic neuritis and some will have Guillain-Barré syndrome. These complications may not be due to the vaccine, but people remember that they got the vaccine recently. Anti-vaccine websites seem to play up on this and give false information that COVID-19 complications are underreported and fail to note that there is no control group, so we do not know how many people would have gotten blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks if they did not get the vaccine. For example, one anti-vaccine website highlighted a Tamil (Indian) actor Vivek, who died of a massive heart attack 5 days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine and tried to make a case that the vaccine caused that. Of course, the massive heart attack was due to years of buildup of cholesterol in his coronary arteries and had nothing to do with the COVID-19 vaccine. In fact, the complications attributed to the COVID-19 vaccine occur less frequently in those vaccinated than unvaccinated. The only complication that seems to possibly be more common in people who get vaccinated is blood clots, and the rate of that is still quite low. Overwhelmingly, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective and safe. MYTH: I had COVID-19 before. I don't need a vaccine. Natural immunity is better than a vaccine immunity. FACT: Most studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are more effective, with longer-lasting immunity, than only having the COVID-19 infection. The immunity after natural infection varies and may be quite minimal in patients who had mild COVID-19 and likely declines within a couple of months of infection. In contrast, those who got the vaccine seem to have high levels of immunity even months after getting the vaccine. The vaccine also protects against the COVID-19 variants. If someone had one variant, it is unlikely that their natural immunity would protect them against other variants. MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine leads to spike proteins circulating in your body for months after the vaccine. FACT: The mRNA from the vaccine, the spike protein that it generates, and all of the products of the COVID-19 vaccine are gone within hours, if not days, and do not hang around the body. MYTH: There is likely to be long-term effects, including infertility effects, of the COVID-19 vaccine. FACT: As the viral particles and proteins are gone within a couple hours to days and the vaccine only enters the cytoplasm and does not enter the DNA, it is very unlikely that there will be long-term effects. So far, the clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine have not resulted in any detrimental effects, and it has been a year since the trials started. Other vaccines have been used safely and do not give long-term side effects. There is no reason to think that this vaccine would give long-term side effects, and we have not seen any evidence of long-term side effects currently. Pregnant women who received COVID-19 vaccines have similar rates adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes (e.g., fetal loss, preterm birth, small size for gestational age, congenital anomalies, and neonatal death) as with pregnant women who did not receive vaccines. MYTH: People with autoimmune disease should not get the vaccine. FACT: Persons with autoimmune disease are likely more susceptible to COVID-19, and they should especially get the vaccine. People with preexisting conditions, including autoimmune diseases, have been shown to be give generally excellent immune responses to the vaccine, and it should especially be given to patients with Addison’s disease or Cushing's disease who may have higher rates of getting more severe COVID-19. In fact, the CDC as well Dr. Friedman recommends EVERYONE getting the vaccine, except 1) those under 12, 2) those who had an anaphylactic reaction to their first COVID-19 vaccine. Patients with AIDS, and those on immunosuppressive therapy for cancers, organ transplants and rheumatological conditions, may not be fully protected from vaccines and should be cautious (including wearing masks and social distancing), but still should get vaccinated. MYTH: Patients with autoimmune diseases, and other conditions do not mount an adequate immune response to the vaccine and may even should get a booster shot. FACT: The only patients that have been found not to have a good immune response to the vaccine is those with AIDS or on immunosuppressive drugs that are used in people with rheumatological diseases or transplants. With these exception, patients appear to mount a good immune response to the vaccine regardless of their preexisting condition and do not need a booster shot. MYTH: Why should I bother with the vaccine if it is going to require a booster shot? FACT: It is unclear whether booster shots will be required or not. Currently, the CDC and FDA do not recommend a booster shot, but Pfizer has petitioned the FDA to consider it and is starting more studies on whether a booster shot is effective. It is currently believed that the vaccine retains effectiveness for months to years after it is given. MYTH: We are almost at herd immunity now. Why bother getting a vaccine? FACT: We are not at herd immunity as people are still getting sick and dying from COVID-19. Dr. Friedman recently lost to COVID-19 his 43-year old patient with obesity and diabetes at MLK Outpatient Center. There are pockets in the United States with low vaccine rates, especially in the South. The vaccine is spreading among unvaccinated people, while the rate of spread among vaccinated people is quite low. Approximately 98% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is important from a public health viewpoint for all Americans to get vaccinated. MYTH: There is nothing to be concerned with about the variants. FACT: Especially the delta variant appears to be more contagious and aggressive than the other variants currently. The vaccines do appear to be effective against the delta variant but possibly a little less so. Variants multiply and can generate new variants only if they are infected into patients who are unvaccinated. To end the emergence of new variants, it is important for all Americans to get vaccinated. MYTH: I could just be careful, and I will not get the COVID-19 vaccine. FACT: Thousands of people who were careful and got COVID-19 and either died from it or became extremely sick. The best prevention against getting COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. MYTH: I am young. I do not have to worry about getting COVID. FACT: Many young people have gotten sick and died of COVID-19 and also, they are contagious and can spread COVID-19 if they are not vaccinated. Everyone, regardless of their age, as long as they are over 12, should get vaccinated. MYTH: If children under 12 are not vaccinated, the virus will still spread. FACT: The FDA and CDC do not recommend the vaccine for those under 12. They are very unlikely to get COVID-19 and are very unlikely to transmit it to others. They are the one group that does not need to get vaccinated. MYTH: COVID-19 vaccines are an experimental vaccine. FACT: While it is true that the FDA approved COVID-19 vaccines were granted emergency use authorization in December 2020 (Pfizer and Moderna) and Johnson and Johnson in February 2021. Both Pfizer and Moderna have petitioned the FDA for full approval, but by no means are these vaccines experimental. As mentioned, over 180 million Americans and many more worldwide have received the vaccine. This is more than any other FDA approved medication. Clinical trials are still ongoing and have enrolled thousands of people and Israel has monitored the effect of COVID-19 vaccines in 7 million Israelis. MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine is a government plot to kill or injure people or a war against G-d. FACT: Yeah right If you want the pandemic to end, please get vaccinated and encourage your friends and colleagues to get vaccinated. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Friedman, go to goodhormonehealth.com
    2 points
  5. Rachel Acree, Caitlin M Miller, Brent S Abel, Nicola M Neary, Karen Campbell, Lynnette K Nieman Journal of the Endocrine Society, Volume 5, Issue 8, August 2021, bvab109, https://doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvab109 Abstract Context Cushing syndrome (CS) is associated with impaired health-related quality of life (HRQOL) even after surgical cure. Objective To characterize patient and provider perspectives on recovery from CS, drivers of decreased HRQOL during recovery, and ways to improve HRQOL. Design Cross-sectional observational survey. Participants Patients (n = 341) had undergone surgery for CS and were members of the Cushing’s Support and Research Foundation. Physicians (n = 54) were Pituitary Society physician members and academicians who treated patients with CS. Results Compared with patients, physicians underestimated the time to complete recovery after surgery (12 months vs 18 months, P = 0.0104). Time to recovery did not differ by CS etiology, but patients with adrenal etiologies of CS reported a longer duration of cortisol replacement medication compared with patients with Cushing disease (12 months vs 6 months, P = 0.0025). Physicians overestimated the benefits of work (26.9% vs 65.3%, P < 0.0001), exercise (40.9% vs 77.6%, P = 0.0001), and activities (44.8% vs 75.5%, P = 0.0016) as useful coping mechanisms in the postsurgical period. Most patients considered family/friends (83.4%) and rest (74.7%) to be helpful. All physicians endorsed educating patients on recovery, but 32.4% (95% CI, 27.3-38.0) of patients denied receiving sufficient information. Some patients did not feel prepared for the postsurgical experience (32.9%; 95% CI, 27.6-38.6) and considered physicians not familiar enough with CS (16.1%; 95% CI, 12.2-20.8). Conclusion Poor communication between physicians and CS patients may contribute to dissatisfaction with the postsurgical experience. Increased information on recovery, including helpful coping mechanisms, and improved provider-physician communication may improve HRQOL during recovery. Read the entire article in the enclosed PDF. bvab109.pdf
    2 points
  6. Mayela, I'm so sorry you went through COVID but glad you're on the other side of it now. And a relapse doesn't sound like any fun Thanks for the update on The GRACE trial, though. Please keep us updated on your recovery from COVID and your relapse.
    2 points
  7. Osilodrostat therapy was found to be effective in improving blood pressure parameters, health-related quality of life, depression, and other signs and symptoms in patients with Cushing disease, regardless of the degree of cortisol control, according to study results presented at the 30th Annual Scientific and Clinical Congress of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (ENVISION 2021). Investigators of the LINC 3 study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02180217), a phase 3, multicenter study with a double-blind, randomized withdrawal period, sought to assess the effects of twice-daily osilodrostat (2-30 mg) on signs, symptoms, and health-related quality of life in 137 patients with Cushing disease. Study endpoints included change in various parameters from baseline to week 48, including mean urinary free cortisol (mUFC) status, cardiovascular-related measures, physical features, Cushing Quality-of-Life score, and Beck Depression Inventory score. Participants were assessed every 2, 4, or 12 weeks depending on the study period, and eligible participants were randomly assigned 1:1 to withdrawal at week 24. The median age of participants was 40.0 years, and women made up 77.4% of the cohort. Of 137 participants, 132 (96%) achieved controlled mUFC at least once during the core study period. At week 24, patients with controlled or partially controlled mUFC showed improvements in blood pressure that were not seen in patients with uncontrolled mUFC; at week 48, improvement in blood pressure occurred regardless of mUFC status. Cushing Quality-of-Life and Beck Depression Inventory scores, along with other metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, improved from baseline to week 24 and week 48 regardless of degree of mUFC control. Additionally, most participants reported improvements in physical features of hypercortisolism, including hirsutism, at week 24 and week 48. The researchers indicated that the high response rate with osilodrostat treatment was sustained during the 48 weeks of treatment, with 96% of patients achieving controlled mUFC levels; improvements in clinical signs, physical features, quality of life, and depression were reported even among patients without complete mUFC normalization. Disclosure: This study was sponsored by Novartis Pharma AG; however, as of July 12, 2019, osilodrostat is an asset of Recordati AG. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. Visit Endocrinology Advisor‘s conference section for complete coverage from the AACE Annual Meeting 2021: ENVISION. Reference Pivonello R, Fleseriu M, Newell-Price J, et al. Effect of osilodrostat on clinical signs, physical features and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) by degree of mUFC control in patients with Cushing’s disease (CD): results from the LINC 3 study. Presented at: 2021 AACE Virtual Annual Meeting, May 26-29, 2021. From https://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/home/conference-highlights/aace-2021/osilodrostat-improves-blood-pressure-hrqol-and-depression-in-patients-with-cushing-disease/
    2 points
  8. HRA Pharma Rare Diseases, an affiliate of privately-held French healthcare company HRA Pharma, has revealed data from the six-month extension of PROMPT, the first ever prospective study designed to evaluate metyrapone long-term efficacy and tolerability in endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. After confirming good efficacy and safety of metyrapone in the first phase of the study that ran for 12 weeks, the results of the six-month extension showed that metyrapone successfully maintains low urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels with good tolerability. The data will be presented at the European Congress of Endocrinology 2021 next week. Metyrapone is approved in Europe for the treatment of endogenous Cushing’s syndrome. It works by inhibiting the 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme, the final step in cortisol synthesis. From https://www.thepharmaletter.com/in-brief/brief-metyrapone-effective-and-safe-in-endogenous-cushing-s-syndrome-in-long-term-says-hra-pharma-rare-diseases
    2 points
  9. WASHINGTON--Endogenous Cushing's syndrome, a rare hormonal disorder, is associated with a threefold increase in death, primarily due to cardiovascular disease and infection, according to a study whose results will be presented at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society's annual meeting. The research, according to the study authors, is the largest systematic review and meta-analysis to date of studies of endogenous (meaning "inside your body") Cushing's syndrome. Whereas Cushing's syndrome most often results from external factors--taking cortisol-like medications such as prednisone--the endogenous type occurs when the body overproduces the hormone cortisol, affecting multiple bodily systems. Accurate data on the mortality and specific causes of death in people with endogenous Cushing's syndrome are lacking, said the study's lead author, Padiporn Limumpornpetch, M.D., an endocrinologist from Prince of Songkla University, Thailand and Ph.D. student at the University of Leeds in Leeds, U.K. The study analyzed death data from more than 19,000 patients in 92 studies published through January 2021. "Our results found that death rates have fallen since 2000 but are still unacceptably high," Limumpornpetch said. Cushing's syndrome affects many parts of the body because cortisol responds to stress, maintains blood pressure and cardiovascular function, regulates blood sugar and keeps the immune system in check. The most common cause of endogenous Cushing's syndrome is a tumor of the pituitary gland called Cushing's disease, but another cause is a usually benign tumor of the adrenal glands called adrenal Cushing's syndrome. All patients in this study had noncancerous tumors, according to Limumpornpetch. Overall, the proportion of death from all study cohorts was 5 percent, the researchers reported. The standardized mortality ratio--the ratio of observed deaths in the study group to expected deaths in the general population matched by age and sex--was 3:1, indicating a threefold increase in deaths, she stated. This mortality ratio was reportedly higher in patients with adrenal Cushing's syndrome versus Cushing's disease and in patients who had active disease versus those in remission. The standardized mortality ratio also was worse in patients with Cushing's disease with larger tumors versus very small tumors (macroadenomas versus microadenomas). On the positive side, mortality rates were lower after 2000 versus before then, which Limumpornpetch attributed to advances in diagnosis, operative techniques and medico-surgical care. More than half of observed deaths were due to heart disease (24.7 percent), infections (14.4 percent), cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke or aneurysm (9.4 percent) or blood clots in a vein, known as thromboembolism (4.2 percent). "The causes of death highlight the need for aggressive management of cardiovascular risk, prevention of thromboembolism and good infection control and emphasize the need to achieve disease remission, normalizing cortisol levels," she said. Surgery is the mainstay of initial treatment of Cushing's syndrome. If an operation to remove the tumor fails to put the disease in remission, other treatments are available, such as medications. Study co-author Victoria Nyaga, Ph.D., of the Belgian Cancer Centre in Brussels, Belgium, developed the Metapreg statistical analysis program used in this study. ### Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions. The Society has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at http://www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia. Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system. From https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/tes-lao031621.php
    2 points
  10. Context Late-night salivary cortisol (LNSC) measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA-F) is a first-line screening test for Cushing’s syndrome (CS) with a reported sensitivity and specificity of >90%. However, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, validated to measure salivary cortisol (LCMS-F) and cortisone (LCMS-E), has been proposed to be superior diagnostically. Objective, Setting, and Main Outcome Measures Prospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of EIA-F, LCMS-F, and LCMS-E in 1453 consecutive late-night saliva samples from 705 patients with suspected CS. Design Patients grouped by the presence or absence of at least one elevated salivary steroid result and then subdivided by diagnosis. Results We identified 283 patients with at least one elevated salivary result; 45 had an established diagnosis of neoplastic hypercortisolism (CS) for which EIA-F had a very high sensitivity (97.5%). LCMS-F and LCMS-E had lower sensitivity but higher specificity than EIA-F. EIA-F had poor sensitivity (31.3%) for ACTH-independent CS (5 patients with at least one and 11 without any elevated salivary result). In patients with Cushing’s disease (CD), most non-elevated LCMS-F results were in patients with persistent/recurrent CD; their EIA-F levels were lower than in patients with newly diagnosed CD. Conclusions Since the majority of patients with ≥1 elevated late-night salivary cortisol or cortisone result did not have CS, a single elevated level has poor specificity and positive predictive value. LNSC measured by EIA is a sensitive test for ACTH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome but not for ACTH-independent CS. We suggest that neither LCMS-F nor LCMS-E improves the sensitivity of late-night EIA-F for CS. Cushing’s disease, ectopic ACTH, adrenal Cushing’s syndrome, diagnosis, assay performance Issue Section: Clinical Research Article From https://academic.oup.com/jes/advance-article/doi/10.1210/jendso/bvaa107/5876040
    2 points
  11. Presented by Georgios A. Zenonos, MD Assistant Professor of Neurological Surgery Associate Director, Center for Skull Base Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh PA, 15217 Presbyterian Hospital, Suite B400 Register Now! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. Date: Wednesday July 1, 2020 Time: 3:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    2 points
  12. Unfortunately a 4:30 pm cortisol test can't be used to diagnose or exclude Cushing's. The only useful blood measurement for cortisol would be a midnight one. You really need to do a 24 hour urinary cortisol test.
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  13. Welcome, Ellie. I can't image how hard it would be to get a diagnosis (or not!) during these COVID times. Unfortunately, results from blood tests aren't going to be the answer - just a part of an answer. You need to get UFCs (urine free cortisol) Do you need to get a referral to an endo? They are the best to diagnose Cushing's - if you get one who is familar with testing. That's the important part. Not all endos "believe in Cushing's" which is incredible to me. Unfortunately, there's no real way of speeding a Cushing's diagnosis along. And, I don't think you'd want to (although I did when I was in the diagnosis phase!) You want to be absolutely sure that this is what you have AND the source - pituitary, adrenal, ectopic, steroid-induced... Best of luck to you and please keep us posted.
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  14. Dr. Friedman will discuss topics including: Who should get an adrenalectomy? How do you optimally replace adrenal hormones? What laboratory tests are needed to monitor replacement? When and how do you stress dose? What about subcut cortisol versus cortisol pumps? Patient Melissa will lead a Q and A Sunday • May 17 • 6 PM PST Click here on start your meeting or https://axisconciergemeetings.webex.com/axisconciergemeetings/j.php?MTID=mb896b9ec88bc4e1163cf4194c55b248f OR Join by phone: (855) 797-9485 Meeting Number (Access Code): 802 841 537 Your phone/computer will be muted on entry. Slides will be available on the day of the talk here There will be plenty of time for questions using the chat button. Meeting Password: addison
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  15. Hello Mary!! Thank you for replying!! It was a surprise for me having a relapse... I never knew or even heard it could happen... but last year I began to feel sooooo bad... and as I’ve had so many difficulties with the doctors I consulted the first time (I visited 40 doctors in ten years ... and only 3 of them understood my symptoms)... I decided to go to the laboratory by myself and asked them to perform the tests I thought I might have needed. And so I saw the cortisol beginning to increase ... but this January I presented a tachyarrhytmia sincope and although cardiologists intended to get me through a lot of heart testing I KNEW it was high cortisol levels again which led to this condition. And that is how it was... my cortisol was twice the normal levels... and again I went to an endocrinologist and she told me ... you have Cushing again... you can imagine it’s been the worst déjà-vu in my life. The etiology of my Cushing’s Disease the first time was very uncommon, as I thankfully never had any ACTH or cortisol secreting tumor, but I presented very high levels of cortisol (over ten times normal levels) and of ACTH, beyond high levels of other pituitary hormones: prolactine , TSH, FSH, LH ( a condition known as PANHYPERPITUITARISM) besides insulin, estrogens and so on... except for somatotropin (growth hormone), almost all of my hormones were in very high levels... and I was almost dying. Ten years and forty doctors later my neurosurgeon discovered in my latest MRI that besides I had a pituitary lesion that didn’t light up in the scan, my pituitary stalk and my hypothalamus (as well as the pituitary gland -presenting empty sella) were completely compressed by a suprasellar arachnoides cyst (meninges cyst), so that the hypothalamus hormones that regulated the pituitary hormones to stop over producing were stuck and never reached the pituitary... so it (pituitary gland) was continually producing all kind of hormones (except GH) without stopping. Finally in 2009 I had a neurosurgery resecting the meninges cyst, hoping that reliefing the pituitary stalk could lead hypothalamus hormones to reach the pituitary and regulate it to a normal hormone release... and so it happened!!! A month after neurosurgery my pituitary hormones levels were totally normal as well as my cortisol... and little by little the rest of almost my other health issues released... it took me over five years to have my liver in optimal conditions (Normal oxaloacetic and pyruvic transaminases) and to leave my diabetes medication at all controlling it only with a strict diet. So the last five years I’ve just struggled with hypertension , hypoglucemia and hypotiroidism (Primary subclicinal)... until last year ... I couldn’t understand what was happening to me... I couldn’t move my muscles.. extreme fatigue and great muscle pain... so I had my doubts and was checking upon suspicious high cortisol levels. This time as well as the first time I suppress cortisol with the dexametasona test... which indicates I do not over produce cortisol because of a tumor... so the etiology is again different from what’s common. And now my latest doctor has told me that my over production of cortisol is due to my previous Cushing’s disease and panhyperpituitarism and not because any possible ACTH or cortisol tumor. I decided to investigate what could help me to stop over producing cortisol and so I found Dr. Burton’s work. After founding out his investigation was still in the dark... well I decided to help him making his work known through your Forum... but I also needed help and so I continued researching and I found Isturisa (osilodrostat - LCI-699) which had just been approved in the EU this January. And so I spoke to the Director of Recordati Rare Diseases in México City and he told me that with my diagnosis and prescription they could send me the medication. As the annual treatment is about 55K euros, they are now helping me through IMSS (Mexican Institute of Social Security) so that the Mexican Federal Government can provide me the medication at no cost for the time I need it... it’s an administrative process but we’re starting it and we expect to have good results. And by far this is how my story goes... I know it was a long reply... but I think it is important for all of us to know this uncommon etiology of the Disease... because it took me over ten years and plenty of pain and suffering to get to the point of what was causing my over production of ACTH, cortisol and almost the whole of hormones in my body... and as my neurosurgeon told me... this etiology of Cushing’s Disease doesn’t even appear in medicine books .... So I hope my medical case can help anybody that unfortunately could be in this position to find quick answers from their doctors... and maybe teach them something as I did. Thank you very much for reading this... my best wishes... stay safe ... blessings!! Regards from Querétaro México MAYELA
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  16. Hello Mary & dear Cushies!! I’ve just discovered this article two months ago and I was very pleased to speak directly to Dr. Gerardo Burton. He and his team developed a drug (21OH-6OP) which is a SPECIFIC antagonist for cortisol receptors, unlikely mifepristone which inhibits cortisol AND progesterone with so many undesired adverse effects. Unfortunately the pharmaceutical company didn’t choose this drug to start the clinical trials and so it is resting in Dr. Burton’s lab.... since 2007. The great humanity in Dr. Burton drop tears into my eyes when he told me that he would like that his whole work could help at least somebody to improve their quality of life. As a Cushing’s disease survivor ten years ago ... and now with a relapse of Cushing’s syndrome I keep wondering how is it possible that Dr. Burton’s work remains unknown, wasted, buried and in oblivion. For any of us either with Cushing’s Disease or Syndrome this drug is like the light at the end of the tunnel... I wish I could explain all this as clearly as I intended... and the reason why I post this topic is because I promised Dr. Burton I would try to help him to make his work known specially for all of us... and if somebody can help with a FDA contact and make this story known to them... that would be of so much help!!! Thank to all of you for reading this, my best wishes for all... stay safe this pandemic Regards from Querétaro, México Mayela https://www.intramed.net/contenidover.asp?contenidoid=48298
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  17. Thank you so much, Mayela - I'll definitely check this out. We need all the help we can get and I'm glad that Dr. Burton is trying to help Cushing's patients. 13 years is a long time to withhold a potentially helpful drug. I'm so sorry you're having a relapse Are you planning another pituitary surgery, BLA or something else?
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  18. Cushing syndrome, a rare endocrine disorder caused by abnormally excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol, has a new pharmaceutical treatment to treat cortisol overproduction. Osilodrostat (Isturisa) is the first FDA approved drug who either can’t undergo pituitary gland surgery or have undergone the surgery but still have the disease. The oral tablet functions by blocking the enzyme responsible for cortisol synthesis, 11-beta-hydroxylase. “Until now, patients in need of medications…have had few approved options, either with limited efficacy or with too many adverse effects. With this demonstrated effective oral treatment, we have a therapeutic option that will help address patients' needs in this underserved patient population," said Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, professor of medicine and neurological surgery and director of the Pituitary Center at Oregon Health Sciences University. Cushing disease is caused by a pituitary tumor that releases too much of the hormone that stimulates cortisol production, adrenocorticotropin. This causes excessive levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for helping to maintain blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, assist in memory formulation, and support fetus development during pregnancy. The condition is most common among adults aged 30-50 and affects women 3 times more than men. Cushing disease can lead to a number of medical issues including high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, blood clots in the arms and legs, bone loss and fractures, a weakened immune system, and depression. Patients with Cushing disease may also have thin arms and legs, a round red full face, increased fat around the neck, easy bruising, striae (purple stretch marks), or weak muscles. Side effects of osilodrostat occurring in more than 20% of patients are adrenal insufficiency, headache, nausea, fatigue, and edema. Other side effects can include vomiting, hypocortisolism (low cortisol levels), QTc prolongation (heart rhythm condition), elevations in adrenal hormone precursors (inactive substance converted into hormone), and androgens (hormone that regulated male characteristics). Osilodrostat’s safety and effectiveness was evaluated in a study consisting of 137 patients, of which about 75% were women. After a 24-week period, about half of patients had achieved normal cortisol levels; 71 successful cases then entered an 8-week, double-blind, randomized withdrawal study where 86% of patients receiving osilodrostat maintained normal cortisol levels, compared with 30% who were taking a placebo. In January 2020, the European Commission also granted marketing authorization for osilodrostat. From https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/patients-with-cushing-have-new-nonsurgical-treatment-option
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  19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Isturisa (osilodrostat) oral tablets for adults with Cushing's disease who either cannot undergo pituitary gland surgery or have undergone the surgery but still have the disease. Cushing's disease is a rare disease in which the adrenal glands make too much of the cortisol hormone. Isturisa is the first FDA-approved drug to directly address this cortisol overproduction by blocking the enzyme known as 11-beta-hydroxylase and preventing cortisol synthesis. "The FDA supports the development of safe and effective treatments for rare diseases, and this new therapy can help people with Cushing's disease, a rare condition where excessive cortisol production puts them at risk for other medical issues," said Mary Thanh Hai, M.D., acting director of the Office of Drug Evaluation II in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "By helping patients achieve normal cortisol levels, this medication is an important treatment option for adults with Cushing's disease." Cushing's disease is caused by a pituitary tumor that releases too much of a hormone called adrenocorticotropin, which stimulates the adrenal gland to produce an excessive amount of cortisol. The disease is most common among adults between the ages of 30 to 50, and it affects women three times more often than men. Cushing's disease can cause significant health issues, such as high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, blood clots in the legs and lungs, bone loss and fractures, a weakened immune system and depression. Patients may have thin arms and legs, a round red full face, increased fat around the neck, easy bruising, striae (purple stretch marks) and weak muscles. Isturisa's safety and effectiveness for treating Cushing's disease among adults was evaluated in a study of 137 adult patients (about three-quarters women) with a mean age of 41 years. The majority of patients either had undergone pituitary surgery that did not cure Cushing's disease or were not surgical candidates. In the 24-week, single-arm, open-label period, all patients received a starting dose of 2 milligrams (mg) of Isturisa twice a day that could be increased every two weeks up to 30 mg twice a day. At the end of this 24-week period, about half of patients had cortisol levels within normal limits. After this point, 71 patients who did not need further dose increases and tolerated the drug for the last 12 weeks entered an eight-week, double-blind, randomized withdrawal study where they either received Isturisa or a placebo (inactive treatment). At the end of this withdrawal period, 86% of patients receiving Isturisa maintained cortisol levels within normal limits compared to 30% of patients taking the placebo. The most common side effects reported in the clinical trial for Isturisa were adrenal insufficiency, headache, vomiting, nausea, fatigue and edema (swelling caused by fluid retention). Hypocortisolism (low cortisol levels), QTc prolongation (a heart rhythm condition) and elevations in adrenal hormone precursors (inactive substance converted into a hormone) and androgens (hormone that regulates male characteristics) may also occur in people taking Isturisa. Isturisa is taken by mouth twice a day, in the morning and evening as directed by a health care provider. After treatment has started, a provider may re-evaluate dosage, depending upon the patient's response. Isturisa received Orphan Drug Designation, which is a special status granted to a drug intended to treat a rare disease or condition. The FDA granted the approval of Isturisa to Novartis. Media Contact: Monique Richards, 240-402-3014 Consumer Inquiries: Email, 888-INFO-FDA The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products. SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration Related Links http://www.fda.gov From https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fda-approves-new-treatment-for-adults-with-cushings-disease-301019293.html
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  20. MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated (NASDAQ: CORT) announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent covering the administration of Korlym® with food. The patent will expire in November 2032. “This patent covers an important finding of our research – that for optimal effect, Korlym must be taken with food,” said Joseph K. Belanoff, MD, Corcept’s Chief Executive Officer. “Korlym’s label instructs doctors that ‘Korlym must always be taken with a meal.’” Upon issuance, Corcept plans to list the patent, entitled “Optimizing Mifepristone Absorption” (U.S. Pat. App. 13/677,465), in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations (the “Orange Book”). Korlym is currently protected by ten patents listed in the Orange Book. Hypercortisolism Hypercortisolism, often referred to as Cushing’s syndrome, is caused by excessive activity of the hormone cortisol. Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome is an orphan disease that most often affects adults aged 20-50. In the United States, an estimated 20,000 patients have Cushing’s syndrome, with about 3,000 new patients diagnosed each year. Symptoms vary, but most people with Cushing’s syndrome experience one or more of the following manifestations: high blood sugar, diabetes, high blood pressure, upper-body obesity, rounded face, increased fat around the neck, thinning arms and legs, severe fatigue and weak muscles. Irritability, anxiety, cognitive disturbances and depression are also common. Hypercortisolism can affect every organ system in the body and can be lethal if not treated effectively. About Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated Corcept is a commercial-stage company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs that treat severe metabolic, oncologic and psychiatric disorders by modulating the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Korlym® (mifepristone) was the first treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients with Cushing’s syndrome. Corcept has discovered a large portfolio of proprietary compounds, including relacorilant, exicorilant and miricorilant, that selectively modulate the effects of cortisol but not progesterone. Corcept owns extensive United States and foreign intellectual property covering the composition of its selective cortisol modulators and the use of cortisol modulators, including mifepristone, to treat a variety of serious disorders. Forward-Looking Statements Statements in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements, which are based on Corcept’s current plans and expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that might cause actual results to differ materially from those such statements express or imply. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, Corcept’s ability to generate sufficient revenue to fund its commercial operations and development programs; the availability of competing treatments, including generic versions of Korlym; Corcept’s ability to obtain acceptable prices or adequate insurance coverage and reimbursement for Korlym; and risks related to the development of Corcept’s product candidates, including regulatory approvals, mandates, oversight and other requirements. These and other risks are set forth in Corcept’s SEC filings, which are available at Corcept’s website and the SEC’s website. In this press release, forward-looking statements include those concerning Corcept’s plans to list the patent “Optimizing Mifepristone Absorption” in the Orange Book; Korlym’s current protection by ten patents listed in the Orange Book; and the scope and protective power of Corcept’s intellectual property. Corcept disclaims any intention or duty to update forward-looking statements made in this press release. CONTACT: Christopher S. James, MD Director, Investor Relations Corcept Therapeutics 650-684-8725 cjames@corcept.com www.corcept.com
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  21. It sure sounds like you're on the right track!
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  22. 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.
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  23. 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/
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  24. This is such great news, Donna - the endo sounds fantastic. Can you please share his info with others so that they might have a faster diagnosis, too? Hopefully, surgery will be soon and on to remission!
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  25. 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?
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  26. 1) Visit RareVoiceAwards.org 2) Review the 2021 RareVoice categories 3) Nominate an advocate who gave rare disease patients a voice on Capitol Hill and in state government in 2020 and 2021. 4) Submit! The RareVoice Awards recipients are chosen by a committee from nominations received from the rare disease community. Nominations close August 27th, 2021 Federal Advocacy – Congressional Staff Honors congressional staffers who have worked to create and enact policies for the rare disease community Federal Advocacy – Patient/Organization Honors advocates or organizations that have worked to create and pass federal legislation State Advocacy – State Legislator Honors state legislators who have worked to create and enact policies for the rare disease community State Advocacy – Patient/Organization Honors advocates or organizations that have worked to create and pass state legislation Federal or State Advocacy by a Teenager Honors teen advocates that have advocated for state or federal legislation Diversity Empowerment - Patient/Organization Honors advocates or organizations that empowered diverse voices in advocacy Artist-to-Advocate Honors individuals who have utilized their artwork to advocate for federal or state legislation For information about sponsorship, please contact Elissa Taylor, etaylor@everylifefoundation.org EveryLife Foundation For Rare Diseases 1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 500 | Washington, District of Columbia 20005 202-697-7273 | info@everylifefoundation.org
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  27. Posted because it's interesting for a few reasons, especially the fact that this apparent adrenal Cushing's (bilateral micronodular hyperplasia) did not present with suppressed ACTH. Those values ranged from 8.9 to 38 pg/mL throughout the day, and yet this was not a mild case biochemically. The investigators--who I should point out are the leading experts on this particular subtype of Cushing's--seemed baffled by the discordant results for locating the source. Furthermore, this novel mutation has a different proposed mechanism of action than previously-identified mutations. Finally, the rather young pediatric patient has been successfully treated with low-dose ketoconazole for five years.
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  28. Wow, that's tough but thank you for being a concerned mom. Does she know your family history? Maybe talking about that would be a way in to discus symptoms and so on. Is she aware/concerned about any of the symptoms she's dealing with? If she doesn't live at home, perhaps she's already seeking medical attention but hasn't shared that with you to keep you from worrying. Please keep us posted on how this goes. Best of luck!
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  29. Please note that if you buy through links in this article, Medical News Today may earn a small commission. Here’s their process. Cortisol is a hormone with various functions throughout the body. However, if a person’s body cannot regulate their cortisol levels, it could lead to a serious health condition. In these cases, home cortisol tests may be useful to indicate when someone might need medical attention. This article discusses: what cortisol is what a home cortisol test is why a person might buy a home cortisol test some home cortisol tests to purchase online when to see a doctor What is cortisol? Cortisol is the stress hormone that affects several systems in the body, including the: nervous system immune system cardiovascular system respiratory system reproductive system musculoskeletal system integumentary system The adrenal glands produce cortisol. Most human body cells have cortisol receptors, and the hormone can help in several ways, including: reducing inflammation regulating metabolism assisting with memory formation controlling blood pressure developing the fetus during pregnancy maintaining salt and water balance in the body controlling blood sugar levels All these functions make cortisol a vital part of maintaining overall health. If the body can no longer regulate cortisol levels, it can lead to several health disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome and Addison’s disease. Without treatment, these conditions could cause life threatening complications. The body requires certain cortisol levels during times of stress, such as: in the event of an injury during illness during a surgical procedure What are home cortisol tests? A cortisol test usually involves a blood test. However, some may require saliva and urine samples instead. There are several home cortisol tests available to purchase over the counter or online. These allow a person to take a sample of blood, urine, or saliva before sending it off for analysis. After taking a home cortisol test, people can usually receive their results within 2–5 days online or via a telephone call with a healthcare professional. However, there are currently no studies investigating the reliability of these home cortisol tests. Therefore, people should follow up on their test results with a healthcare professional. Why and when do people need them? A person should take a home cortisol test if they feel they may have a cortisol imbalance. If cortisol levels are too high, a person may notice the following: rapid weight gain in the face, chest, and abdomen high blood pressure osteoporosis bruises and purple stretch marks mood swings muscle weakness an increase in thirst and need to urinate If cortisol levels are too low, a person may experience the following symptoms: fatigue loss of appetite unintentional weight loss muscle weakness abdominal pain Additionally, low cortisol levels may lead to: low blood pressure low blood sugar low blood sodium high blood potassium A test can help individuals check their cortisol levels. If the test results show these levels are too high or too low, people should seek medical advice. A cortisol imbalance may be a sign of an underlying condition, which can lead to serious complications without treatment. If a person cannot carry out a home cortisol test, they should speak to a medical professional who can arrange a cortisol test at a healthcare facility. What to look for in a home cortisol test At a clinic or hospital setting, a medical professional will usually take a blood sample and analyze it for an individual’s cortisol levels. Home cortisol tests involve a person taking a sample of blood, urine, or saliva. There are currently no studies investigating the accuracy of these results. However, home cortisol tests may be faster and more convenient than making an appointment with a doctor to take a sample. People may consider several factors when deciding to purchase a home cortisol test, including: Sample type: Some tests require a blood sample, while others need a sample of urine or saliva. With this in mind, a person may wish to buy a product that uses a testing method they are comfortable providing. Test analysis: A person may wish to purchase a product from a company that sends tests to Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified labs for analysis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Medicaid Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulate these labs to help ensure safety and accuracy. Accuracy: Individuals may wish to speak to a pharmacist or other healthcare professional before purchasing to ensure the test is reliable and accurate. Products Several online retailers offer home cortisol tests. It is important to follow all test instructions to ensure a valid result. Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based. LetsGetChecked – Cortisol Test This cortisol test uses the finger prick method to draw blood for the sample. Here are the steps to take and send off a blood sample: Individuals fill in their details on the collection box and activate their testing kit online at the LetsGetChecked website. People need to wash their hands with warm soapy water before using an alcohol swab to clean the finger that they will prick. Once the finger is completely dry, individuals pierce the skin using the lancet in the test kit. A person must wipe away the first drop of blood before squeezing some into the blood collection tube. After closing the tube, individuals must invert it 5–10 times before placing it in the included biohazard bag, which they then place in the box. After following these steps, people can send the sample back to LetsGetChecked using the kit’s prepaid envelope. Test results usually come back within 2–5 days. LetsGetChecked tests samples in the same labs that primary care providers, hospitals, and government schemes use. These labs are CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited. The company also has a team of nurses and doctors available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to offer ongoing support. These healthcare professionals are on hand to discuss a person’s results with them over the phone. Everlywell At-Home Cortisol Levels Test Kit – Sleep & Stress Test This Everlywell product uses a urine sample to test a person’s cortisol levels. The test measures the levels of three hormones in a person’s body: cortisol, cortisone, and melatonin. It also measures a person’s creatinine levels. There are three steps with this test: Individuals register their testing kit on Everlywell’s website. A person follows the instructions carefully to take their urine sample. Once they have their urine sample, they place it in the prepaid package and send it off to Everlywell’s labs. Within a few days, individuals will receive their results digitally via the Everlywell website. Medical professionals can also offer helpful insights via their secure platform. As well as sending a personalized report of each marker, Everlywell also sends detailed information about what the results mean. The labs where Everlywell tests samples all carry certification with CLIA. The company also ensures that all results are reviewed and certified by independent board-certified physicians within the person’s specific state.SHOP NOW Healthlabs Cortisol, AM & PM Test Healthlabs offers a cortisol test that tests a person’s cortisol levels twice — once in the morning and once in the evening. The company says they do this because a person’s cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day. Therefore, by testing twice, they can gather information on this fluctuation. This test uses a blood sample, which a person takes once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They must follow the instructions clearly to ensure they take suitable samples. The manufacturer says that people should collect a morning sample between 7–9 a.m. and an evening sample between 3–5 p.m. They then need to send off their sample for analysis. After testing is complete at a CLIA-certified lab, a person will receive their results, which usually takes between 1–2 days. SHOP NOW When to speak with a doctor A person should undergo a cortisol test if they believe they may have high or low cortisol levels. They can do this at home or speak with a medical professional who can carry out the test for them. People may also wish to seek medical help if they show signs of too much or too little cortisol. This could indicate a potentially serious underlying health issue. Summary Cortisol is an important hormone that affects almost all parts of the body. It has many functions, including reducing inflammation, regulating metabolism, and controlling blood pressure. If a person believes they have high or low cortisol levels, they may wish to take a cortisol test. Usually, these tests take place at a medical practice. However, several home cortisol tests are available to purchase. A person can take these tests at home by providing a urine, blood, or saliva sample. Once a lab analyzes the test, people usually receive their results within a few days. Individuals should follow up any test results with a healthcare professional. No clinics, no stress. Test your cortisol levels from home Test your cortisol level from home with LetsGetChecked. Get free shipping, medical support, and results from accredited labs within 2–5 days. Order today for 30% off. LEARN MORE Last medically reviewed on April 29, 2021 at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/3-of-the-best-home-cortisol-tests
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  30. Central hypothyroidism is prevalent in about 1 in 2 adults with Cushing’s syndrome, and thyroid function can be restored after curative surgery for most patients, according to study findings. “Our study findings have confirmed and greatly extended previous smaller studies that suggested a link between hypercortisolism and thyroid dysfunction but were inconclusive due to smaller sample size and short follow-up,” Skand Shekhar, MD, an endocrinologist and clinical investigator in the reproductive physiology and pathophysiology group at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, told Healio. “Due to our large sample and longer follow-up, we firmly established a significant negative correlation between hypercortisolemia measures — serum and urinary cortisol, serum adrenocorticotropic hormone — and thyroid hormones triiodothyronine, free thyroxine and thyrotropin.” Shekhar and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of two groups of adults aged 18 to 60 years with Cushing’s syndrome. The first group was evaluated at the NIH Clinical Center from 2005 to 2018 (n = 68; mean age, 43.8 years; 62% white), and the second group was evaluated from 1985 to 1994 (n = 55; mean age, 37.2 years; 89% white). The first cohort was followed for 6 to 12 months to observe the pattern of thyroid hormone changes after surgical cure of adrenocorticotropic hormone-dependent Cushing’s syndrome. The second group underwent diurnal thyroid-stimulating hormone evaluation before treatment and during remission for some cases. Urinary free cortisol and morning thyroid hormone levels were collected for all participants. In the second group, researchers evaluated diurnal patterns of TSH concentrations with hourly measurements from 3 to 7 p.m. and midnight to 4 p.m. In the first group, adrenocorticotropic hormone and serum cortisol were measured. In the first cohort, seven participants were receiving levothyroxine for previously diagnosed primary or central hypothyroidism. Of the remaining 61 adults, 32 had untreated central hypothyroidism. Thirteen participants had free T4 at the lower limit of normal, and 19 had subnormal levels. There were 29 adults with subnormal levels of T3 and seven with subnormal TSH. Before surgery, 36 participants in the first group had central hypothyroidism. Six months after surgery, central hypothyroidism remained for 10 participants. After 12 months, the number of adults with central hypothyroidism dropped to six. Preoperative T3 and TSH levels were negatively associated with morning and midnight cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone and urinary free cortisol. In post hoc analysis, a baseline urinary free cortisol of more than 1,000 g per day was adversely associated with baseline and 6-month T3 and free T4 levels. In the second group, there were 51 participants not on thyroid-modifying drugs who had a thyroid function test 6 or 12 months after surgery. Before surgery, free T4 levels were subnormal in 17 participants, T3 levels were subnormal in 22, and TSH levels were in the lower half of the reference range or below in all but one participant. After surgery, two participants had below normal free T4, one had subnormal T3, and TSH levels were in the lower half of the reference range or below in 23 of 48 participants. Before surgery, there was no difference in mean TSH between daytime and nighttime. A mean 8 months after surgery, the second group had a normal nocturnal TSH surge from 1.3 mIU/L during the day to 2.17 mIU/L at night (P = .01). The nocturnal TSH increase persisted as long as 3 years in participants who had follow-up evaluations. “We found a very high prevalence of thyroid hormone deficiency that appears to start at the level of the hypothalamus-pituitary gland and extend to the tissue level,” Shekhar said. “Some of these patients may experience thyroid hormone deficiency symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain, etc, as a result of systematic and tissue-level thyroid hormone deficiency. We also noted a strong correlation between hypothyroidism and hypogonadism, which implies that hypothyroid patients are also likely to suffer adverse reproductive effects. Thus, it is imperative to perform thorough thyroid hormone assessment in patients with Cushing’s syndrome, and thyroid hormone supplementation should be considered for these patients unless cure of Cushing’s syndrome is imminent.” Researchers said providers should routinely screen for hypothyroidism in adults with Cushing’s syndrome. Even after thyroid function is restored, regular follow-up should also be conducted. Further research is needed to investigate thyroid dysfunction in iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome and the impact of these findings on euthyroid sick syndrome, Shekhar said. For more information: Skand Shekhar, MD, can be reached at skand.shekhar@nih.gov. From https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20210208/thyroid-dysfunction-highly-prevalent-in-cushings-syndrome
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  31. The treatment of adrenal insufficiency with hydrocortisone granules in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) was associated with an absence of adrenal crises and normal growth patterns over a 2-year period, according to study findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The study included a total of 17 children with CAH and 1 child with hypopituitarism. All included participants were <6 years old who were receiving current adrenocortical replacement therapy, including hydrocortisone with or without fludrocortisone. Hydrocortisone medications used in this population were converted from pharmacy compounded capsules to hydrocortisone granules without changing the dose. These study participants were followed by study investigators for 2 years. Glucocorticoid replacement therapy was given three times a day for a median treatment duration of 795 days. Treatment was adjusted by 3 monthly 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) profiles in children with CAH. There were a 150 follow-up visits throughout the study. At each visit, participants underwent assessments that measured hydrocortisone dose, height, weight, pubertal status, adverse events, and incidence of adrenal crisis. A total of 40 follow-up visits had changes in hydrocortisone doses based on salivary measurements (n=32) and serum 17-OHP levels (n=8). At time of study entry, the median daily doses of hydrocortisone were 11.9 mg/m2 for children between the ages of 2 to 8 years, 9.9 mg/m2 for children between 1 month and 2 years, and 12.0 mg/m2 for children <28 days of age. At the end of the study, the respective doses for the 3 age groups were 10.2, 9.8, and 8.6. The investigators observed no trends in either accelerated growth or reduced growth; however, 1 patient with congenital renal hypoplasia and CAH did show reduced growth. While 193 treatment-emergent adverse events, including pyrexia, gastroenteritis, and viral upper respiratory tract infection, were reported in 14 patients, there were no observed adrenal crises. Limitations of this study included the small sample size as well as the relatively high drop-out rate of the initial sample. The researchers concluded that “hydrocortisone granules are an effective treatment for childhood adrenal insufficiency providing the ability to accurately prescribe pediatric appropriate doses.” Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures. Reference Neumann U, Braune K, Whitaker MJ, et al. A prospective study of children 0-7 years with CAH and adrenal insufficiency treated with hydrocortisone granules. Published online September 4, 2020. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi:10.1210/clinem/dgaa626
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  32. Abnormally high levels of cortisol in the urine — one of the hallmarks of Cushing’s syndrome — seem to be associated with alterations in blood sugar metabolism in obese patients, a study found. The study, “Hypercortisolism and altered glucose homeostasis in obese patients in the pre-bariatric surgery assessment,” was published in the journal Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.
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  33. Health Condition: All Conditions Demographics: Ages 18+, United States Resident Special Request(s): Everyone who has taken part in a clinical trial is asked to share. We are interested in learning why you decided to take part in a clinical trial and how your experience went. Honoraria: Some respondents may be asked to participate in a clinical trial awareness network where there are paid opportunities to tell their stories. Apply to learn more.
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  34. Presented by Ahmad Sedaghat, MD, PhD - Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Rhinology, Allergy and Anterior Skull Base Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health. Norberto Andaluz, MD, MBA, FACS - Professor of Neurosurgery and Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery - Director, Division of Skull Base Surgery University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute - UC Health Click here to attend Date: Wednesday, Sept 23, 2020 Time: 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time Learning objectives: 1. To understand the surgical steps of endoscopic pituitary surgery 2. To understand how the surgical steps of endoscopic pituitary surgery translate to post-operative outcomes 3. To understand surgical factors that can modify post-operative outcomes after endoscopic pituitary surgery 4. To understand post-operative care that can modify post-operative outcomes after endoscopic pituitary surgery
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  35. Study Authors: Tsung-Chieh Yao, Ya-Wen Huang, et al.; Beth I. Wallace, Akbar K. Waljee Target Audience and Goal Statement: Primary care physicians, rheumatologists, pulmonologists, dermatologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists The goal of this study was to examine the associations between oral corticosteroid bursts and severe adverse events among adults in Taiwan. Question Addressed: What were the associations between steroid bursts and severe adverse events, specifically gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure? Study Synopsis and Perspective: It has long been known that long-term use of corticosteroids can be both effective and toxic. Long-term use is associated with adverse effects such as infections, GI bleeding/ulcers, cardiovascular disease (CVD), Cushing syndrome, diabetes and metabolic syndromes, cataracts, glaucoma, and osteoporosis. Most clinical practice guidelines caution against long-term steroid use unless medically necessary. Action Points In a retrospective cohort study and self-controlled case series, prescriptions for oral steroid bursts were found to be associated with increased risks for gastrointestinal bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure within the first month after initiation, despite a median exposure of just 3 days. Note that the risks were highest 5 to 30 days after exposure, and attenuated during the subsequent 31 to 90 days. Instead, clinical practice guidelines recommend steroid bursts for inflammatory ailments such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Waljee and colleagues noted in 2017 that they are most commonly used for upper respiratory infections, suggesting that many people are receiving steroids in the real world. In a retrospective cohort study and self-controlled case series, prescriptions for oral steroid bursts -- defined as short courses of oral corticosteroids for 14 or fewer days -- were found to be associated with increased risks for GI bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure within the first month after initiation, despite a median exposure of just 3 days, according to Tsung-Chieh Yao, MD, PhD, of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taoyuan, and colleagues. The risks were highest 5 to 30 days after exposure, and attenuated during the subsequent 31 to 90 days, they reported in Annals of Internal Medicine. The self-controlled case series was based on national medical claims records. Included were adults, ages 20-64, covered by Taiwan's National Health Insurance in 2013-2015. Out of a population of more than 15.8 million, study authors identified 2,623,327 people who received a steroid burst during the study period. These individuals were age 38 on average, and 55.3% were women. About 85% had no baseline comorbid conditions. The most common indications for the steroid burst were skin disorders and respiratory tract infections. The incidence rates among patients prescribed steroid bursts were 27.1 per 1,000 person-years for GI bleeding (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.80, 95% CI 1.75-1.84), 1.5 per 1,000 person-years for sepsis (IRR 1.99, 95% CI 1.70-2.32), and 1.3 per 1,000 person-years for heart failure (IRR 2.37, 95% CI 2.13-2.63). Absolute risk elevations were similar in patients with and without comorbid conditions, meaning that the potential for harm was not limited to those at high risk for these adverse events. The study authors acknowledged that they could not adjust for disease severity and major lifestyle factors such as alcohol use, smoking, and body mass index; because these factors were static, the effect could be eliminated using the self-controlled case series design. Their reliance on prescription data also meant they could not tell if patients actually complied with oral corticosteroid therapy. Furthermore, the exclusion of the elderly and younger populations also left room for underestimation of the risks of steroid bursts, they said. Source References: Annals of Internal Medicine 2020; DOI: 10.7326/M20-0432 Editorial: Annals of Internal Medicine 2020; DOI: 10.7326/M20-4234 Study Highlights and Explanation of Findings: Over the 3-year study period, steroid bursts were commonly prescribed to adults. Such prescriptions were written for common conditions, including skin disorders and upper respiratory tract infections. The highest risks for GI bleeding, sepsis, and heart failure occurred within the first month after receipt of the steroid burst, and this risk was attenuated during the subsequent 31 to 90 days. "Our findings are important for physicians and guideline developers because short-term use of oral corticosteroids is common and the real-world safety of this approach remains unclear," the researchers wrote. Notably, one corticosteroid that fits the bill is dexamethasone -- a medication that holds promise for the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients, although it is not generally prescribed orally for these patients. Based on preliminary results, the NIH's COVID-19 treatment guidelines panel recommended the use of "dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg per day for up to 10 days) in patients with COVID-19 who are mechanically ventilated and in patients with COVID-19 who require supplemental oxygen but who are not mechanically ventilated." In addition, they recommend "against using dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen." "We are now learning that bursts as short as 3 days may increase risk for serious AEs [adverse events], even in young and healthy people. As providers, we must reflect on how and why we prescribe corticosteroids to develop strategies that prevent avoidable harms," wrote Beth Wallace, MD, and Akbar Waljee, MD, both of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and Michigan Medicine. On the basis of the reported risk differences in the study, Wallace and Waljee calculated that one million patients exposed to corticosteroid bursts experienced 41,200 GI bleeding events, 400 cases of sepsis, and 4,000 cases of new heart failure per year that were directly attributed to this brief treatment. "Although many providers already avoid corticosteroids in elderly patients and those with comorbid conditions, prescribing short bursts to 'low-risk' patients has generally been viewed as innocuous, even in cases where the benefit is unclear. However, Yao and colleagues provide evidence that this practice may risk serious harm, making it difficult to justify in cases where corticosteroid use lacks evidence of meaningful benefit," they wrote in an accompanying editorial. "Medication-related risks for AEs can, of course, be outweighed by major treatment benefit. However, this study and prior work show that corticosteroid bursts are frequently prescribed for self-limited conditions, where evidence of benefit is lacking," Wallace and Waljee noted. "As we reflect on how to respond to these findings, it is useful to note the many parallels between use of corticosteroid bursts and that of other short-term medications, such as antibiotics and opiates. All of these treatments have well-defined indications but can cause net harm when used -- as they frequently are -- when evidence of benefit is low," they emphasized. Last Updated August 07, 2020 Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Retired), Harvard Medical School, Boston Primary Source Annals of Internal Medicine Source Reference: Yao TC, et al "Association between oral corticosteroid bursts and severe adverse events: a nationwide population-based cohort study" Ann Intern Med 2020; DOI: 10.7326/M20-0432. Secondary Source Annals of Internal Medicine Source Reference: Wallace BI, Waljee AK "Burst case scenario: why shorter may not be any better when it comes to corticosteroids" Ann Intern Med 2020; DOI: 10.7326/M20-4234. Additional Source MedPage Today Source Reference: Lou N "Sobering Data on Risks of Short-Term Oral Corticosteroids" 2020. From https://www.medpagetoday.org/primarycare/generalprimarycare/87959?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2020-08-08&eun=g1406328d0r&utm_term=NL_Daily_DHE_dual-gmail-definition&vpass=1
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  36. The oral chemotherapy temozolomide might be an effective treatment for Cushing’s disease caused by aggressive tumors in the pituitary gland that continue to grow after surgery and taking other medications, a case report suggests. The study, “Successful reduction of ACTH secretion in a case of intractable Cushing’s disease with pituitary Crooke’s cell adenoma by combined modality therapy including temozolomide,” was published in the journal J-Stage. Cushing’s disease is often caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland that secretes high levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), leading to high levels of cortisol and other symptoms. Macroadenomas are aggressive, fast-growing tumors that reach sizes larger than 10 millimeters. Crooke’s cell adenoma is a type of macroadenoma that does not respond to conventional therapies, but has deficient mechanisms of DNA repair. That is why chemotherapeutic agents that damage the DNA, such as temozolomide, might be potential treatments. Researchers in Japan reported the case of a 56-year-old woman with Cushing’s disease caused by a Crooke’s cell adenoma in the pituitary gland who responded positively to temozolomide. The patient was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease at age 39 when she went to the hospital complaining of continuous weight gain. She also had excessive production of urine and a loss of vision in the right eye. The lab tests showed high levels of cortisol and ACTH, and the MRI detected a tumor of 4.5 centimeters in the pituitary gland. The doctors removed a part of the tumor surgically, which initially reduced the levels of ACTH and cortisol. However, the hormone levels and the size of the residual tumor started to increase gradually after the surgery, despite treatment with several medications. By the time the patient was 56 years old, she went to the hospital complaining of general fatigue, leg edema (swelling from fluid), high blood pressure, and central obesity (belly fat). Further examination showed a 5.7 cm tumor, identified as a Crooke’s cell macroadenoma. The patient underwent a second surgery to remove as much tumor as possible, but the levels of ACTH remained high. She took temozolomide for nine months, which normalized the levels of ACTH and cortisol. After the treatment, the patient no longer had high blood pressure or leg edema. The tumor shrunk considerably in the year following temozolomide treatment. The patient started radiation therapy to control tumor growth. The levels of cortisol and ACHT remained normal, and the tumor did not grow in the seven years following temozolomide treatment. “These clinical findings suggest that [temozolomide] treatment to patients with Crooke’s cell adenoma accompanied with elevated ACTH may be a good indication to induce lowering ACTH levels and tumor shrinkage,” researchers wrote. Other cases of Cushing’s disease caused by aggressive macroadenomas showed positive results, such as reduction of tumor size and decrease in plasma ACTH, after temozolomide treatment. However, more studies are needed to establish the ideal course of chemotherapy to treat these tumors, the researchers noted. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2019/06/18/temozolomide-effective-cushings-disease-aggressive-tumors-case-report/
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  37. Scientists have discovered a potential biological reason why women are more likely to develop adrenal disorders, including cancer. According to the researchers, the answer could lie in the increased turnover of hormone-producing cells found in the adrenal glands of females. The adrenal gland is a hormone producing organ that sits on top of the kidneys. The outer part, or cortex, is responsible for the production of several hormones, including the stress-related hormone cortisol and the blood pressure controlling aldosterone. Adrenal cancer is relatively rare but occurs approximately three times more in women than in men. The cellular basis for this difference has not been investigated in detail but uncovering it might lead to sex-specific treatments and has huge implications for many areas of research. Dr Andreas Schedl, from INSERM, France, who led the study said: To our surprise we found that adrenal cells in female mice show a much more rapid turnover compared to males, which we could trace back to a different behaviour of adrenal stem cells between the two sexes. Furthermore, we could show that the observed differences are due to hormones that are produced by testes that suppress cell division, thus slowing down renewal in the male adrenal." The scientists studied the adrenal cortex of male and female adult mice and found that female mice replace their entire set of hormone-producing cells within 3 months, while it takes male mice an entire 9 months. Using different techniques to label cells within the adrenal cortex, they established that females not only have a higher proliferation rate of cells, but also recruit stem cells from a different part of the adrenal gland. The research has wide reaching implications, as it demonstrates the basic mechanism underlying the increased turnover of cells within the adrenal gland, providing a possible explanation for the increased incidence of adrenal disorders in women. Dr Schedl explained: "It is early days and many more experiments will need to be performed before our research can directly benefit patients. However, we believe that our study teaches a number of important lessons that are of immediate relevance to scientists, pharmacologists and clinicians." This research might lead to sex-specific treatment options for diseases like adrenal cancer and, according to Dr Schedl, could have implications on a far wider field of disorders: "Importantly, while our study concentrated on the adrenals, we are convinced that similar differences may also be found in other organ systems." Dr Helen Rippon, Chief Executive of the charity Worldwide Cancer Research, whose supporters helped fund the study, said: "Sex differences are not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about cancer research or treatments. But this study has shown that it is crucial to consider potential differences between male and female when trying to understand the basis of cancer biology. Most importantly, these findings could have implications for treatment options further down the line and highlight the importance of early-stage, discovery research. We are delighted to fund this kind of research, as we believe that these innovative approaches are ultimately going to lead to a world where no life is cut short by cancer." Worldwide Cancer Research, La Ligue Contre le Cancer and the ANR supported this research. The research was published in Cell Stem Cell. Source: Worldwide Cancer Research Journal reference: Grabek, A. et al. (2019) The Adult Adrenal Cortex Undergoes Rapid Tissue Renewal in a Sex-Specific Manner. Cell Stem Cell. doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2019.04.012. From https://www.news-medical.net/news/20190522/Scientists-discover-biological-reason-why-women-are-more-likely-to-develop-adrenal-disorders.aspx
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  38. this is terrifying to read. is this accurate and current?
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  39. The Stanford Pituitary Center invites patients with pituitary disease, their family and friends to Stanford's Pituitary Patient Education Day! May 18, 2019 at the Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel 625 El Camino Real Palo Alto, CA 94301 USA Topics and Breakout Sessions: Function of the pituitary gland General review of pituitary tumors Endoscopic endonasal surgery for pituitary tumors Quality of life after endonasal surgery Radiation therapy for pituitary tumors Cushing's Disease, prolactinoma, and acromegaly Hypopituitarism therapy and growth hormone deficiency Speakers: Olivia Chu, NP, Nurse Practitioner Robert Dodd, MD, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery Juan Fernandez-Miranda, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery Andrew Hoffman, MD, Professor of Medicine Peter Hwang, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology Laurence Katznelson, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and Medicine Erin Wolff, NP, Nurse Practitioner Course Directors: Juan C. Fernandez-Miranda, MD, FACS Professor of Neurosurgery, and by Courtesy, of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Co-Director, Stanford Skull Base Surgery Program Laurence Katznelson, MD Professor of Neurosurgery and of Medicine (Endocrinology) Medical Director, Pituitary Center
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  40. Is anyone having any issues or problems with the site upgrade? I was surprised how smoothly it went...and the skin still works!
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  41. That's fantastic! Getting a doctor who will thoroughly test you is one of the hardest parts of the disease. Nobody wants to be sick of have Cushing's but with a lot of us it's gets to a stage where you just know in your gut what's going on and then you have to fight with doctors to get them to listen. I hope testing is quick and the proof comes back right away so you can get back to feeling like a human again.
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  42. Presented by Kevin C.J. Yuen, MD Director, Barrow Pituitary Center Director, Barrow Neuroendocrinology Clinic Barrow Neurological Institute Phoenix, Arizona After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar. Date: November 1, 2018 Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time Learning Objectives: To discuss the anatomy of the pituitary gland To discuss the physiology of pituitary hormone secretion To discuss what can go wrong and how to treat pituitary disorders Presenter Bio: Kevin C.J. Yuen, MD, is a neuroendocrinologist and Medical Director of the Pituitary Program at Barrow Neurological Institute, specializing in the management of hypothalamic-pituitary disorders. He is double board-certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and General Medical Council in the UK. Dr. Yuen’s expertise includes clinical and research interest in the management of pituitary and adrenal disorders, particularly adults with growth hormone deficiency, acromegaly, hypogonadism, Cushing’s disease and adrenal insufficiency. He also has a particular interest in neuroendocrine disorders in young adult cancer survivors and adults with traumatic brain injury. His research is devoted to new diagnostics and treatments of pituitary disorders. Dr. Yuen received his medical degree from University of Sheffield, UK. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at University of Southampton, UK, clinical and research fellowship in Endocrinology at University of Cambridge, UK, and clinical and research instructor at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR. Dr. Yuen is active in national and international collaborative studies, and has published extensively in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals, authored several book chapters, and is a frequent guest speaker on various topics related to pituitary disorders.
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  43. Sharon, I'm not sure of the answer to this question, but I have occasional itching. Mine started in perimenopause and it was helped by first taking estrogen pills, then weaning off them and onto soy shakes. When I became menopausal, the itching seemed to have stopped but it's returned in recent years. Only occasionally, but about every month I get intense random itching. Benadryl helps. Because of the seemingly cyclical pattern to the itching, I asked my endo about it and he said I should get my liver tested. (I didn't. I just put up with the itching when it happens). So I don't know the answer to this question but know that you're not alone! Best of luck to you.
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  44. Read all the blog posts here, on the right side. It would be great to share some (ALL?) on Twitter, Facebook, wherever to get the word out even further.
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  45. Children with Cushing’s syndrome are at risk of developing new autoimmune and related disorders after being cured of the disease, a new study shows. The study, “Incidence of Autoimmune and Related Disorders After Resolution of Endogenous Cushing Syndrome in Children,” was published in Hormone and Metabolic Research. Patients with Cushing’s syndrome have excess levels of the hormone cortisol, a corticosteroid that inhibits the effects of the immune system. As a result, these patients are protected from autoimmune and related diseases. But it is not known if the risk rises after their disease is resolved. To address this, researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) examined 127 children with Cushing’s syndrome at the National Institutes of Health from 1997 until 2017. Among the participants, 77.5 percent had a pituitary tumor causing the disease, 21.7 percent had ACTH-independent disease, and one patient had ectopic Cushing’s syndrome. All patients underwent surgery to treat their symptoms. After a mean follow-up of 31.2 months, 7.8 percent of patients developed a new autoimmune or related disorder. Researchers found no significant differences in age at diagnosis, gender, cortisol levels, and urinary-free cortisol at diagnosis, when comparing those who developed autoimmune disorders with those who didn’t. However, those who developed an immune disorder had a significantly shorter symptom duration of Cushing’s syndrome. This suggests that increased cortisol levels, even for a short period of time, may contribute to more reactivity of the immune system after treatment. The new disorder was diagnosed, on average, 9.8 months after Cushing’s treatment. The disorders reported were celiac disease, psoriasis, Hashimoto thyroiditis, Graves disease, optic nerve inflammation, skin hypopigmentation/vitiligo, allergic rhinitis/asthma, and nerve cell damage of unknown origin responsive to glucocorticoids. “Although the size of our cohort did not allow for comparison of the frequency with the general population, it seems that there was a higher frequency of optic neuritis than expected,” the researchers stated. It is still unclear why autoimmune disorders tend to develop after Cushing’s resolution, but the researchers hypothesized it could be a consequence of the impact of glucocorticoids on the immune system. Overall, the study shows that children with Cushing’s syndrome are at risk for autoimmune and related disorders after their condition is managed. “The presentation of new autoimmune diseases or recurrence of previously known autoimmune conditions should be considered when concerning symptoms arise,” the researchers stated. Additional studies are warranted to further explore this link and improve care of this specific population. From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/03/06/after-cushings-cured-autoimmune-disease-risk-looms-study/
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  46. Hi, Sorry I'm late responding. I have only recently returned to the boards. I have a couple of things to say about fat pads over the collar bones. First is to make sure they are fat pads. You say they are tender, to make sure its not swollen glands, hunch your shoulders up to your ears and feel inside your collarbone for any hard lumps. If this test shows no hard lumps then it most likely is fat pads. One of the most common reasons for fat pads over the collar bones is stress. Cortisol is our stress hormone. So it certainly wont hurt to have cortisol levels checked. 24 hr Urine, with Midnight saliva test followed by an early morning Blood cortisol and ACTH test should give a good picture of if it is cushing or something else. Just know that one test in the normal range does not rule out cushings, just as one abnormal result doesnt confirm cushings. It takes a range of tests over several months to get a diagnosis. Because the treatment is pretty serious, your medical team will want to make sure what they are doing is right for you. I know it can be frustrating lol it was for me. But I have learnt that my Medical team does have my best interests at heart, even if they did consider that I was somehow making myself sick !! I proved them wrong For me.... If you think there is something not right, go with your gut and get it checked out. You know your body and every body is different :). So one scenario is not going to be exactly alike Good luck
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  47. I'm very new to this site, but one of the first things I did was read through your story. It's inspiring to see how many people's lives you touched, and heartbreaking to read through what happened during your last few months. I hope you are at peace, and I wish you a very happy birthday!
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  48. Thanks so much, Betseebee. We still need questions from folks in advance.
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  49. Thanks for posting this Robin. The poor unfortunate man and his family - it is dreadful. And so very descriptive - makes you wish you could have been there for him to help.
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