Growth hormone deficiency and cerebral palsy
Jesús Devesa1,2, Nerea Casteleiro2, Cristina Rodicio2, Natalia López2, Pedro Reimunde1,2
1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine of Santiago de Compostela, Spain; 2Medical Center Proyecto Foltra, 15886 Teo, Spain
Abstract: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a catastrophic acquired disease, occurring during development of the fetal or infant brain. It mainly affects the motor control centres of the developing brain, but can also affect cognitive functions, and is usually accompanied by a cohort of symptoms including lack of communication, epilepsy, and alterations in behavior. Most children with cerebral palsy exhibit a short stature, progressively declining from birth to puberty. We tested here whether this lack of normal growth might be due to an impaired or deficient growth hormone (GH) secretion. Our study sample comprised 46 CP children, of which 28 were male and 18 were female, aged between 3 and 11. Data obtained show that 70% of these children lack normal GH secretion. We conclude that GH replacement therapy should be implemented early for CP children, not only to allow them to achieve a normal height, but also because of the known neurotrophic effects of the hormone, perhaps allowing for the correction of some of the common disabilities experienced by CP children.
Keywords: growth hormone, IGF-I, cerebral palsy, short stature
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