What is Cushing’s Disease?
Itsenko-Cushing disease is a disease in which the pituitary produces an excess amount of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) that regulates the work of the adrenal glands. With an excess of ACTH, the adrenal glands increase in size and intensively produce their hormones – corticosteroids, which leads to the disease.
The symptoms of this disease were described at different times by two scientists – the American neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing and the Odessa neurologist Nikolai Itsenko.
An American expert associated the disease with a pituitary tumor, a Soviet scientist suggested that the cause of the disease lies in changes in the hypothalamus – the brain region responsible for the interaction of the nervous and endocrine systems. Today, scientists have come to the conclusion that the Itsenko-Cushing’s disease occurs as a result of failures in the work of the hypothalamic-pituitary system – both researchers were right.
Itsenko-Cushing’s disease, or otherwise hypercortisolism, is a severe neuroendocrine disease that occurs in case of dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system when an excess of adrenal hormones, corticosteroids, is formed.
There are Itsenko-Cushing syndrome and Itsenko-Cushing disease. Itsenko-Cushing syndrome refers to all pathological conditions with one common symptom complex, which is based on hypercortisolism, that is, an increased release of adrenal cortisol by the cortex.