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Gene Linked to Start of Puberty
Date:2/15/2012

used in the treatment of cancers that are stimulated by sex hormones, the most notably breast and prostate cancers," Topaloglu said.

The research could lead to alternative treatments for the puberty-preventing disease. Currently, hormone therapy is almost always a success when used to treat kids with the condition, but it's more difficult to enable them to have children of their own once they grow up, Topaloglu said.

As for the big question of what causes puberty, Crowley said the new findings help provide another clue. They show how the gene -- one of 19 -- helps turn on the pilot light that powers puberty, he said.

"This is a very rare cause of a very rare condition," he said. "But every piece of this puzzle winds up being very important to putting the whole thing together."

The study appears in the Feb. 16 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

More information

For more about puberty and adolescence, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: A. Kemal Topaloglu, M.D., department of pediatric endocrinology, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey; William Crowley Jr., M.D., director, Harvard Reproductive Endocrine Sciences Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Feb. 16, 2012, The New England Journal of Medicine


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