In the british press and some medical journal sites an intresting story appeared today.
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have identified an enzyme which could be a cause of endometriosis.
Below are links to the Daily Mail article (bit short on facts) and a link to an article on breakthrough digest (bit more technical – more detail).
The bottom line is that an enzyme which is not normally seen in the body except in the lining of the womb is present in women with endometriosis outside of the womb and some cancer cells.
Telomerase is an enzyme normally released by cells in the lining of the womb early on in the menstrual cycle, however women with endometriosis also appear to release the enzyme during the later stages of the cycle, this causes the cells to continue to divide and replicate (and is one of the reasons why it exists in cancer cells).
As a result of this these cells divide more often and can survive longer outside the womb to implant themselves in other parts of the body – where they continue to thrive. Of course this continued survival is culmulative and gets worse as more cells exist outside where they should.
There is also a link being drawn to infertility as these cells may make the womb less hospitable to newly fertilised eggs / embryo’s thus causing implantation to not be successful.
The cyclical nature of this also co-incides with many women’s pain cycles with Endometriosis, even when pain occurs elsewhere in the body to the pelvic region.