Role of kisspeptin in PCOS diagnosis – Verity – The PCOS charity


The below blog post has been written by the research team, and details of how to participate in the research can be found at the bottom of this post. Verity have sighted the ethics approval granted for the recruitment of this study.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most causes of absent / irregular periods along with hypothalamic amenorrhea. However, there is overlap in many of the clinical features for these two conditions, and it can often take several months to reach a diagnosis (discussed in the following paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cen.14402).

Here at Imperial College London, we are researching the naturally occurring hormone ‘Kisspeptin’, which plays an important role in controlling reproductive hormones in the body. Kisspeptin acts at the hypothalamus in the brain, which controls the secretion of reproductive hormones. Women with PCOS have increased activity of the hypothalamus, whereas its activity is reduced in women with other conditions such as hypothalamic amenorrhea. The hormonal response to kisspeptin can identify the activity of the hypothalamus and, in future, be used to rapidly identify the cause of irregular periods.

In the first instance, it is important to characterise the hormonal response to kisspeptin in women with different causes of irregular periods, including those with PCOS. Kisspeptin has been given to many hundreds of people without any side-effects identified. 

Therefore, we would like to invite women with irregular /absent periods, who are not already taking hormonal treatments, to take part in this study characterising the hormonal response to kisspeptin. Women who take part in the study will be reimbursed for their time / travel expenses.  If you would like to know more about this research and what it would involve, please get in touch with a member of our team at imperial.kisspeptin@nhs.net



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