Navigation Links
New photo 'op' for ovaries may solve some mysteries of infertility
Date:6/19/2008

CHICAGO -- What causes a woman's eggs to deteriorate in quality with age, and can that be reversed?

How does the ovary choose an egg -- out of a stash of roughly one million -- to release for ovulation? And can the ovary be influenced to pick a "good" quality egg rather than one with chromosomal damage?

These questions are much on the mind of fertility researcher Teresa Woodruff. Woodruff, director of the Center for Reproductive Research at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, hopes to find the answers and, with them, new treatments for fertility disease and age-related infertility. Her research, funded by a new $6.5 million National Institutes of Health grant, has a novel approach.

Instead of measuring hormones and looking at genes -- the more traditional approaches to infertility research -- Woodruff and colleagues are studying the architecture and behavior of the ovaries.

"We're going to approach fertility disease from a new perspective," said Woodruff, the Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Feinberg School. "If we continue to look at the diseases of women's fertility traditionally, we're not going to solve the problems."

The inner daily workings of the ovary largely remain a mystery waiting to be solved.

"We don't understand how each follicle is selected to begin the process of ovulation," Woodruff said. "What caused this one to be selected when it's May and you're 19 years old while there might be one sitting right next to it quiescently for another 20 years before it is moved to the position where it can ovulate? Something controls or parcels those follicles over time so that you have enough from puberty until menopause."

There aren't many tools to help researchers examine the way ovaries function. Enter Frank Miller, M.D., who is developing a new imaging device to do exactly that.

"Ovaries are small and deep and they are more challenging to look at," said Miller, a professor of radiology at the Feinberg School and medical director of magnetic resonance imaging at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

So he, along with colleagues in radiology, are designing a non-invasive magnetic resonance elastography device inspired by a larger one currently used for imaging livers.

Miller's new device will resemble a tiny drum, the size based on its future photo op with its subject - ovaries the size of walnuts. The device will generate sound waves ("like the sub-woofer system of a car," Miller says) to measure the rigidity of the ovaries.

Ovary rigidity is important to measure because it is one of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome, a metabolic disease that is the leading cause of hormone-related infertility. In the syndrome, a woman's follicles do not function or ovulate normally.

"We hope that we will soon be able to understand more about age-related infertility and polycystic ovary syndrome," Woodruff said. "We're tackling problems that have been difficult to solve."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marla Paul
Marla-Paul@northwestern.edu
312-503-8928
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Photo: Tanger Outlet Center Shoppers Nationwide can Choose Pink to Fight Breast Cancer
2. Photo: Kyphon and the X-STOP(R) IPD(R) Procedure to be Featured on American Health Radio on Monday, September 24, 2007
3. Video and Photo: Leading CEOs Launch Alliance With American Red Cross to Strengthen Nations Preparedness for Disasters
4. Photos: New Survey Shows Many Successful Quit Smoking Attempts Made Without Advance Planning
5. Photos: Americas Chronically Ill Children Have New Hope with Hot Gift
6. Video and Photo: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Ad Council Join NFL to Combat Childhood Obesity
7. Photo: Introducing a New Line of Baby and Toddler Shirts that Can Help Protect Innocent Babies During Flu Season
8. Video and Photo: Tasigna(R) Receives US Approval Providing New Hope to Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Patients With Resistance or Intolerance to Existing Therapies
9. Photo: New York Goes Orange for Pumpkin Festival and Lupus Awareness Month
10. Photo: Scientists Complete Genome Sequence of Fungus Responsible for Dandruff, Skin Disorders
11. Photos: Drink Wine and Live Longer - 1907 Madiran and Plaimont Wines of Southwest France Sponsor the Launch of The Red Wine Diet
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton ... staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on ... Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association ... Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this ... health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented ... the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is ... events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story ... the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation ... has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... --  Divoti USA will engrave and process all ... the latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device ... of Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest ... terms of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an ... Puerto Rico , where the company ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, ... damage, temporary loss of power and minimal water damage ... operations have resumed, and the company expects to return ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare ... CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will ... during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the ... offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for ... campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: