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Science 308 (5728): 1587-1589

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The Pains of Endometriosis

Karen J. Berkley,1 Andrea J. Rapkin,2 Raymond E. Papka3

Abstract: Endometriosis is a disease defined by the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the uterus. Severe pelvic pain is often associated with endometriosis, and this pain can be diminished with therapies that suppress estrogen production. Many women with endometriosis also suffer from other chronic pain conditions. Recent studies suggest that mechanisms underlying these pains and sensitivity to estrogen involve the growth into the ectopic endometrial tissue of a nerve supply, which could have a varied and widespread influence on the activity of neurons throughout the central nervous system.

1 Program in Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA.
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center for the Health Sciences, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Room 27-117, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
3 Department of Neurobiology, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, 4209 State Route 44, Post Office Box 95, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.


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