The PNA's Continuing Efforts to Educate and Inform

The Pituitary Network Association is always working to provide educational materials to pituitary patients, their families and the health care providers that treat them. We are working on several ways to promote awareness and highlight the need for more extensive pituitary education in medical schools.

As part of our ongoing efforts, we are creating a series of Continuing Education (CE) courses for nurses so they can learn the signs and symptoms of pituitary disorders. This will help reduce the average amount of time it takes for patients to get an accurate diagnosis. Stay tuned for more information on this program in the coming weeks.

Another way that we are trying to facilitate early diagnosis is by petitioning the medical associations to take action. You can help us help you - by signing our petitions. It only takes a few moments; click on the links below and sign these petitions. Send the links and this month's newsletter to your friends and ask them to support the PNA's efforts.

Together we can do so much more!


Sleep and Longevity

The Journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience released a study that links long life to better sleep and lower levels of fat in the blood. To read more click here.

The Sad, Strange, True Story Of Sandy Allen, The Tallest Woman In The World

Sandra Allen
BuzzFeed Staff

The full article appears on BuzzFeed

In 1976, in Shelbyville, Ind., a city of about 20,000 southeast of Indianapolis, a film premiere was held. The picture was Fellini’sCasanova. A highly conceptual Italian art house flick about sexual deviance was not what this audience was used to; the house, nonetheless, was packed. A local was in it, a 21-year-old everyone knew about but whom few knew well. She now sat nervously waiting for it to start, concerned about what her neighbors were going to think of it, of her.

“For his giant work, he even imported a giantess from America,” one news article about the picture had read, a find that had ended director Federico Fellini’s, “worldwide search for an amazon.”

She was credited: “Sandra E. Allen – Giantess.”

In the film, Casanova, played by Donald Sutherland, first meets the Giantess in a chaotic pub, where she is humiliating men one by one at arm wrestling. A loud thud, and cheers, a loud thud. She is made even more enormous-seeming by the camera’s low angle and the large veil she wears.

He finally approaches, and asks, “Who are you, mythological creature?” Sandy’s replies are not her own voice; Fellini dubbed his film in Italian. The woman who voiced Sandy sounded particularly effeminate; Sandy’s real voice was deeper, mannish.

Intrigued, Casanova follows Sandy to her room, where she is bathed in a large wooden tub by two dwarfs. One catches our voyeur and with a wink, continues to let him watch. The audience never sees anything but Sandy’s milky back.

Sandy was a modest girl, a churchgoer. In the darkened theater she grew more and more nervous and eventually rose, and left, though probably not without being noticed. At a little over 7’5”, Sandy held the Guinness World Record for being the tallest woman alive, a title she’d received about two years prior. (She was still growing; her eventual record-holding height would be 7’7¼”.) On one hand, the title meant she would live a life much more glamorous than those of the other residents of Shelbyville — this premiere was evidence of that. On the other, it meant the divide that existed between her and all other people would only continue to grow.

For the rest of the story click here.


August 2014 Pituitary Research Articles

Knowledge is power and we believe keeping abreast of news on the research front is imperative. Each month in Highlights we feature a few of the top news stories, which you can read below. In addition, we update our website on a regular basis with the latest breaking news related to pituitary and hormonal disorders by gathering stories we think you'll be interested in from MD Linx, Medscape, MedPage Today, PubMed, Touch Endocrinology, and WebMD.

US Disability and Endocrine Disorders

The U.S. Social Security Administration has just published a set of rules for evaluating endocrine disorders for the purposes of declaring a patient "disabled" and therefore eligible for federal disability payments. It is an elaboration on rules put forth in 2011 that removed endocrine disorders from the list of automatically disabling conditions. The SSA says that advances in treatment have made it possible to continue working while battling endocrine disorders. It therefore declared that adults with a diagnosed endocrine disorder are not automatically eligible to be listed as disabled. Rather, the effects must be determined to be "severe" and they must adversely affect other body systems. The ruling will be published in the Federal Register. You can read the document here.