New Perspectives on the Pathogenesis of PCOS: Neuroendocrine Origins

Kirsty A. Walters, Robert B. Gilchrist, William L. Ledger, Helena J. Teede, David J. Handelsman, Rebecca E. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine condition in reproductive-aged women. It is characterized by reproductive, endocrine, metabolic, and psychological features. The cause of PCOS is unknown, thus there is no cure and its management remains suboptimal because it relies on the ad hoc empirical management of symptoms only. We review here the strong support for PCOS having a neuroendocrine origin. In particular, we focus on the role of aberrant hypothalamic–pituitary function and associated hyperandrogenism, and their role as major drivers of the mechanisms underpinning the development of PCOS. This important information now provides a target site and a potential mechanism for the future development of novel, targeted, and mechanism-based effective therapies for the treatment of PCOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-852
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • androgen receptor
  • brain
  • hyperandrogenism
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

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