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Brain's Puberty Switch -- Neuroendocrinologists Unlock Chemical Trigger to P

Brain's Puberty Switch -- Neuroendocrinologists Unlock Chemical Trigger to P

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better understanding of PUBERTY life and new possibilities for a happier youngster
better understanding of PUBERTY life and new possibilities for a happier youngster

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Published by: Dr.Willy Holmes-Spoelder on Dec 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Brain's Puberty Switch -- Neuroendocrinologists Unlock Chemical Trigger to Pubertyhttp://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2005/0512-brains_puberty_switch.htm[01.12.2010 13:15:12]
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May 1, 2005 
— Researchers have discoveredthe precise chemical chain reaction that could bethe much-sought-after puberty trigger: TheKiSS-1 gene, which produces a protein in thehypothalamus, a part of the brain, whichregulates metabolic activity. When the proteinconnects with a receptor on another gene calledGPR54, puberty is believed to begin. Thisknowledge may guide the development of betterdrugs for treating hormone disorders related topuberty.
PITTSBURGH--They're politelycalled "the awkward years," butanybody who can remembergoing through puberty knows"awkward" is an understatement.Now medical researchers believethey're close to solving thepuzzle of puberty.The awkwardness of growing upis not just a physicalphenomenon. It's emotional ...And especially chemical."Puberty, many people wouldexpect, arises in the gonads andgenitals organs. But in fact,puberty arises from the brain,"says neuroendocrinologist Tony Plant.Dr. Plant and a research team from Harvard University andthe University of Pittsburgh discovered the precisechemical chain reaction that could be the much sought-after puberty trigger."The brain sends an endocrine signal to the pituitary gland.This makes protein hormones which reaches the ovariesand testes," Plant says.It all begins with a kiss -- the KiSS 1 gene, whichproduces a protein in the hypothalamus. When the proteinconnects with its receptor, the GPR54 gene, pubertybegins.Dr. Plant says this is the first real handle we've had on theissue of the trigger. With wide variation, that trigger ispulled sometime between ages 10 and 16. But early orlate puberty can pose developmental problems, likebehavior problems and low self-esteem. Pediatricians haveto treat these children with either precocious or delayedpuberty.By knowing the exact chemical causes of puberty, medicalresearchers can now begin developing treatments that canharmonize the process.Right now, the only therapy for puberty disorders isfrequent hormonal injections. With this genetic discovery,scientists hope oral medicines can be developed to eitherenhance or slow puberty where needed.
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(July 26, 2010)— Puberty is triggered by pulsatilerelease of GnRH from specific nerve cells in the thebrain. What signals tell these nerve cells to releaseGnRH in this manner has not been determined,although it ... >
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