Menstrual gene variants 'may offer treatment clues'

Efforts to prevent the onset of breast and endometrial cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease could be boosted by a new US study.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, National Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard say gene variants associated with the age at which females begin to experience the menopause may provide clues as to potential treatments.

Ten genetic variants in two chromosomal regions associated with age at the first menstrual period have been identified, in addition to 13 genetic variants in four chromosomal regions associated with age at natural menopause.

Commenting on the latest study, lead author Chunyan stated: "At these newly identified loci, fine mapping or sequencing might lead to identification of the causal variants, and thus expand our knowledge of the underlying physiology and biological regulation of these traits.

"Insights into the genetic factors in?uencing the timing of [the first period] and natural menopause might shed light on normal reproductive function and the prevention of the diseases associated with these two traits."

Last week, researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine, US, claimed two enzymes called extracellular signal-regulated kinases could help them understand infertility in some women with irregular menstrual cycles.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19177152-ADNFCR