Cushing’s Syndrome By: Laura Brown, Sarah Afiz and Nick Olson
What is Cushing’sSyndrome? Cushing’s syndrome is caused by prolonged exposure of the bodies’ tissue to high levels of the hormone cortisol Cushing syndrome is also called hypercortisolism
What is Cortisol? Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands Enables regulation of glucose metabolism Regulates blood pressure and blood sugar Reduce inflammation Suppresses immune function Most importantly cortisol helps the body respond to stress (called the “stress hormone”)
Causes of Cushing’s Majority of the people who suffer from Cushing’s syndrome have had prior use of glucocorticoid hormones -Glucocorticoid hormones are used to prevent transplant rejection as well as treat inflammatory diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Additional Causes Other causes: Pituitary Adenomas: tumors of pituitary gland Adrenal gland overgrowth or adrenal tumors Too much stress put on the body (ex. Athletes under intense training, pregnant women- carrying fetus)
Who’s affected? Can affect anyone but the disease is extremely rare Any ethnicity Affects 10-15 people out of every million Most commonly occurs in females ages 25-50, 5:1 Female to Male ratio
Symptoms Upper body obesity (rounded face, increased neck fat) Thinning around the arms and legs Delayed growth Easy bruising of skin Purplish-pink stretch marks on the abdomen, thigh, buttocks, arms, and breasts
Symptoms (cont.) High blood sugar, high blood pressure Depression and anxiety Increased hair growth in women Irregular menstrual cycles Bones are fragile, susceptible to fractures easily
Treatments Depending on the reason for cortisol excess, treatments include: 1. Surgery (pituitary/ adrenal gland surgery on tumors –first line approach) 2. Radiation (can take many years to be effective) 3. Chemotherapy 4. Cortisol inhibiting drug such as mitotane
Special Diet People living with Cushing’s must maintain a certain diet Increased protein and calcium- to prevent loss and thinning of bones Less Sodium to keep blood pressure under control Less caffeine- stimulate pituitary gland
New Treatment Corcept Therapeutics Inc won U.S. approval for a drug known as Korlym that uses the active ingredient of the abortion pill RU-486
Korlym Korlym blocks the binding of cortisol to its receptor Korlym inhibits or reduces the effects of excess cortisol Orphan drug status: Given to drugs discovered for rare diseases. Allows Corcept to have exclusive rights.
Other Facts This disease is not inherited People who are more prone to developing tumors are at greater risk If the disease is not treated, it can be lethal Cushing’s can also lead to heart attacks and strokes 70% of patients with Cushing’s suffer from diabetes.
Works Cited 1. Medecinenet. (2008, May 12). Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/cushings_syndrome/article.ht m 2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2010, September 11). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cushings- syndrome/DS00470 3. http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov. (july, 2008). Retrieved from http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/cushings/cushings.as px 4. Scott, E. (2011, September 22). Cortisol and stress: How to stay healthy. Retrieved from http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/cortisol.htm 5. (n.d.). Cushing syndrome. . Retrieved from http://flipper.diff.org/app/items/info/418
Works cited cont. 6. Keil, M. (2004). Cushing. Retrieved from http://csrf.net/page/cushings_syndrome_in_children.php 7. Adler, G. (2011, October 21). Cushing. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/117365-overview 8. Cushing. (1996, June). Retrieved from http://pituitary.mgh.harvard.edu/cushings.htm 9. Margulies, D. P. (n.d.). National adrenal diseases foundation: Adrenal diseases - cushing. Retrieved from http://www.nadf.us/diseases/cushings.htm 10. Adrenal glands. (2009, November 23). Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002219.htm 11. (05/1). Retrieved from http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/your-adrenal- glands