Amy Desrochers DiVasta, MD, MMSc
|Department||Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine|
|Hospital Title||Assistant in Medicine|
|Academic Title||Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School|
333 Longwood Avenue
Boston MA 02115
Dr. DiVasta is the Principal Investigator on a prospective clinical research study entitled "Effect of Bed Rest on Bone Turnover and Cardiac Function in Young Women Hospitalized for Anorexia Nervosa" and a Co-Investigator for a randomized, controlled trial entitled "Adrenal and Gonadal Hormonal Replacement in Young Women with Anorexia Nervosa." She is also Principal Investigator of a retrospective chart review entitled "Preservation of bone mineral density in adolescents treated with Gn-RH agonists and add-back therapy for endometriosis."
Little is known about either the effect of bed rest on bone turnover in hospitalized patients with Anorexia Nervosa, or the cardiac status of adolescents suffering from this condition. Dr. DiVasta's hope is that the "Bed Rest" study mentioned above will help to fill this gap in knowledge and shed some light on possible clinical recommendations for exercise regiments for AN patients, and for prevention of Osteoporosis.
It has been documented that treatment with a GnRH agonist remains the only therapeutic option for the many adolescents who suffer from endometriosis. While this medication is efficacious in relieving symptoms, its use is complicated by side effects associated with the induced low estrogen state. Low dose steroid hormone "add-back" therapy appears to be a promising adjunctive treatment to ameliorate the negative effects of therapy, based on studies conducted in adult populations. However, the efficacy of these agents has not been explored in adolescents. Our hope is that the "add-back" study will help to fill this gap in knowledge and provide some useful information as to an effective way of managing endometriosis-related symptoms in adolescent females.
Three goals of Dr. DiVasta's work include:
- To determine the association between bed rest and bone turnover in hospitalized patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and to evaluate the baseline cardiovascular status of adolescent females requiring inpatient medical therapy for AN.
- To determine whether an add-back regimen of norethindrone acetate or norethindrone acetate plus conjugated equine estrogen (CEE) is superior in maintaining bone mineral density (BMD) and quality of life in adolescents with endometriosis treated with a GnRH agonist.
- To determine whether an add-back regimen of norethindrone acetate or norethindrone acetate plus estradiol is superior in preventing menopausal symptoms in adolescents with endometriosis treated with a GnRH agonist.
About Amy DiVasta
Dr. DiVasta received an MD from Tufts University School of Medicine and an MMSc from the Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Public Health. Awards include the Huffman Capraro Award for Excellence in Research (Young Investigator Award) from the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (2006) and the Von L. Meyer Award (2003).
- DiVasta AD and Gordon CM. Bone health in adolescents. Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews 2006. In press.
- DiVasta AD and Alexander ME. "Heart murmurs, mitral valve prolapse, and connective tissues diseases affecting the heart."In Neinstein LS, (Ed.). Adolescent Health Care: A Practical Guide, 5th Edition. In press.
- DiVasta AD, Laufer M, and Gordon CM. Preservation of bone mineral density in adolescents treated with Gn-RH agonists and add-back therapy for endometriosis. Platform Oral Presentation. North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology annual meeting. Orlando, Florida. May 2006.