Females of childbearing age make up a considerable segment of the patient population affected by psoriasis, but no one knows of the effect of Amevive on pregnancy and fetal development, including immune system development.
Phase III trials of the drug Xanelim were promising, but it may be several years before the drug is submitted to the FDA for approval.
puberty, precocious The onset of puberty before age seven in girls and age nine in boys. The signs of the condition include the development of breasts and pubic hair or the beginning of menstruation in girls, and pubic or facial hair, a deepening voice, or enlarged penis or testicles in boys. Acne also can occur with these other changes. Although sexual maturity does not occur at the exact same age for every person, there is a limit to how soon the signs should begin to appear. Girls are five to seven times more likely than boys to develop the condition.
one of the problems with starting puberty at an earlier age is that puberty also triggers a period of rapid growth and weight gain that stops when puberty ends. Because bone growth stops at an earlier age than normal, children with precocious puberty usually do not achieve their potential full adult height. Although they may at first seem tall compared to their classmates, they will stop growing too soon and end up at a shorter height than normal. If untreated, boys typically grow no taller than 5 feet, 4 inches and girls rarely reach 5 feet.
Reaching puberty too early also can be emotionally and socially difficult, because very young children often are not emotionally equipped to undergo the physical changes.
The onset of puberty is normally triggered by the pituitary gland. Precocious puberty may be caused by a structural problem in the brain, or a problem in the ovaries. However, in most girls, there is no underlying visible medical problem that experts can discover.
When the condition appears in boys, it may be caused by head trauma or a hormone-producing tumor in the pituitary gland or hypothalamus. The condition also may appear along with a condition such as Down's syndrome or untreated hypothy-
roidism. The condition is inherited in about five percent of boys. Precocious puberty early can be passed from father to son or from the maternal grandfather through the mother (who will be unaffected) to the son. Less than one percent of girls affected by precocious puberty have inherited the condition.
Some children develop precocious puberty as a result of exposure to estrogen in drugs or food (called "medicational precocity"). This consists primarily of breast development. Children can be exposed to estrogen if they swallow estrogen-replacement medication or birth control pills. occasionally, reports suggest that estrogen given to livestock also can cause breast development in children.
The most obvious signs of the onset of precocious puberty are the development of secondary sex characteristics. In girls, the signs of precocious puberty include any of the following signs appearing before age 7:
• breast development
• pubic or underarm hair development
• onset of menstruation
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