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      High Prevalence of Chronic Pituitary and Target-Organ Hormone Abnormalities after Blast-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury


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          Studies of traumatic brain injury from all causes have found evidence of chronic hypopituitarism, defined by deficient production of one or more pituitary hormones at least 1 year after injury, in 25–50% of cases. Most studies found the occurrence of posttraumatic hypopituitarism (PTHP) to be unrelated to injury severity. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and hypogonadism were reported most frequently. Hypopituitarism, and in particular adult GHD, is associated with symptoms that resemble those of PTSD, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, irritability, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, cognitive deficiencies, and decreased quality of life. However, the prevalence of PTHP after blast-related mild TBI (mTBI), an extremely common injury in modern military operations, has not been characterized. We measured concentrations of 12 pituitary and target-organ hormones in two groups of male US Veterans of combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. One group consisted of participants with blast-related mTBI whose last blast exposure was at least 1 year prior to the study. The other consisted of Veterans with similar military deployment histories but without blast exposure. Eleven of 26, or 42% of participants with blast concussions were found to have abnormal hormone levels in one or more pituitary axes, a prevalence similar to that found in other forms of TBI. Five members of the mTBI group were found with markedly low age-adjusted insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) levels indicative of probable GHD, and three had testosterone and gonadotropin concentrations consistent with hypogonadism. If symptoms characteristic of both PTHP and PTSD can be linked to pituitary dysfunction, they may be amenable to treatment with hormone replacement. Routine screening for chronic hypopituitarism after blast concussion shows promise for appropriately directing diagnostic and therapeutic decisions that otherwise may remain unconsidered and for markedly facilitating recovery and rehabilitation.

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          Consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of adults with GH deficiency II: a statement of the GH Research Society in association with the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology, Lawson Wilkins Society, European Society of Endocrinology, Japan Endocrine Society, and Endocrine Society of Australia.

          Ken Ho (2007)
          The GH Research Society held a Consensus Workshop in Sydney, Australia, 2007 to incorporate the important advances in the management of GH deficiency (GHD) in adults, which have taken place since the inaugural 1997 Consensus Workshop. Two commissioned review papers, previously published Consensus Statements of the Society and key questions were circulated before the Workshop, which comprised a rigorous structure of review with breakout discussion groups. A writing group transcribed the summary group reports for drafting in a plenary forum on the last day. All participants were sent a polished draft for additional comments and gave signed approval to the final revision. Testing for GHD should be extended from hypothalamic-pituitary disease and cranial irradiation to include traumatic brain injury. Testing may indicate isolated GHD; however, idiopathic isolated GHD occurring de novo in the adult is not a recognized entity. The insulin tolerance test, combined administration of GHRH with arginine or growth hormone-releasing peptide, and glucagon are validated GH stimulation tests in the adult. A low IGF-I is a reliable diagnostic indicator of GHD in the presence of hypopituitarism, but a normal IGF-I does not rule out GHD. GH status should be reevaluated in the transition age for continued treatment to complete somatic development. Interaction of GH with other axes may influence thyroid, glucocorticoid, and sex hormone requirements. Response should be assessed clinically by monitoring biochemistry, body composition, and quality of life. There is no evidence that GH replacement increases the risk of tumor recurrence or de novo malignancy.
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            Association between premature mortality and hypopituitarism. West Midlands Prospective Hypopituitary Study Group.

            Four retrospective studies have reported premature mortality in patients with hypopituitarism with standard mortality ratios (SMRs) varying between 1.20 and 2.17. Patients with hypopituitarism have complex endocrine deficiencies, and the mechanisms underpinning any excess mortality are unknown. Furthermore, the suggestion has emerged that endogenous growth-hormone deficiency might account for any excess mortality. We aimed to clarify these issues by doing a large prospective study of total and specific-cause mortality in patients with hypopituitarism. We followed up 1014 UK patients (514 men, 500 women) with hypopituitarism from January, 1992, to January, 2000. 573 (57%) patients had non-functioning adenomas, 118 (12%) craniopharyngiomas, and 93 (9%) prolactinomas. SMRs were calculated as the ratio of observed deaths to the number of deaths in an age-matched and sex-matched UK population. The number of observed deaths was 181 compared with the 96.7 expected (SMR 1.87 [99% CI 1.62-2.16], p<0.0001). Univariate analysis indicated that mortality was higher in women (2.29 [1.86-2.82]) than men (1.57 [1.28-1.93], p=0.002), in younger patients, in patients with an underlying diagnosis of craniopharyngioma (9.28 [5.84-14.75] vs 1.61 [1.30-1.99], p<0.0001), and in the 353 patients treated with radiotherapy (2.32 [1.71-3.14] vs 1.66 [1.30-2.13], p=0.004). Excess mortality was attributed to cardiovascular (1.82 [1.30-2.54], p<0.0001), respiratory (2.66 [1.72-4.11], p<0.0001), and cerebrovascular (2.44 [1.58-4.18], p<0.0001) causes. There was no effect of hormonal deficiency on mortality, except for gonadotropin deficiency, which, if untreated was associated with excess mortality (untreated 2.97 [2.13-4.13] vs treated 1.42 [0.97-2.07], p<0.0001). Multiple regression analyses identified age at diagnosis, sex, a diagnosis of craniopharyngioma, and untreated gonadotropin deficiency as independent significant factors affecting mortality. Patients with hypopituitarism have excess mortality, predominantly from vascular and respiratory disease. Age at diagnosis, female sex, and above all, craniopharyngioma were significant independent risk factors. Specific endocrine-axis deficiency, with the exception of untreated gonadotropin deficiency, does not seem to have a role.
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              Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia: mechanisms, clinical features and management.

              Hyperprolactinaemia is an important but neglected adverse effect of antipsychotic medication. It occurs frequently with conventional antipsychotics and some atypical antipsychotics (risperidone and amisulpride) but is rare with other atypical antipsychotics (aripiprazole, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, ziprasidone). For this reason the terms 'prolactin-sparing' and 'prolactin-raising' are more useful than 'atypical' and 'conventional' when considering the effect of antipsychotic drugs on serum prolactin. During antipsychotic treatment prolactin levels can rise 10-fold or more above pretreatment values. In a recent study approximately 60% of women and 40% of men treated with a prolactin-raising antipsychotic had a prolactin level above the upper limit of the normal range. The distinction between asymptomatic and symptomatic hyperprolactinaemia is important but is often not made in the literature. Some symptoms of hyperprolactinaemia result from a direct effect of prolactin on target tissues but others result from hypogonadism caused by prolactin disrupting the normal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. Symptoms of hyperprolactinaemia include gynaecomastia, galactorrhoea, sexual dysfunction, infertility, oligomenorrhoea and amenorrhoea. These symptoms are little researched in psychiatric patients. Existing data suggest that they are common but that clinicians underestimate their prevalence. For example, well conducted studies of women treated with conventional antipsychotics have reported prevalence rates of approximately 45% for oligomenorrhoea/amenorrhoea and 19% for galactorrhoea. An illness-related under-function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in female patients with schizophrenia may also contribute to menstrual irregularities. Long-term consequences of antipsychotic-related hypogonadism require further research but are likely and include premature bone loss in men and women. There are conflicting data on whether hyperprolactinaemia is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. In patients prescribed antipsychotics who have biochemically confirmed hyperprolactinaemia it is important to exclude other causes of prolactin elevation, in particular tumours in the hypothalamic-pituitary area. If a patient has been amenorrhoeic for 1 year or more, investigations should include bone mineral density measurements. Management should be tailored to the individual patient. Options include reducing the dose of the antipsychotic, switching to a prolactin-sparing agent, prescribing a dopamine receptor agonist and prescribing estrogen replacement in hypoestrogenic female patients. The efficacy and risks of the last two treatment options have not been systematically examined. Antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinaemia should become a focus of interest in the drug treatment of psychiatric patients, particularly given the recent introduction of prolactin-sparing antipsychotics. Appropriate investigations and effective management should reduce the burden of adverse effects and prevent long-term consequences. Copyright 2004 Adis Data Information BV

                Author and article information

                Front Neurol
                Front Neurol
                Front. Neur.
                Frontiers in Neurology
                Frontiers Research Foundation
                27 December 2011
                07 February 2012
                : 3
                : 11
                [1] 1simpleGeriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle, WA, USA
                [2] 2simpleDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington Seattle, WA, USA
                [3] 3simpleVA Northwest Network Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle, WA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Mattias Sköld, Uppsala University, Sweden

                Reviewed by: Ibolja Cernak, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, USA; Stefan Plantman, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

                *Correspondence: Charles W. Wilkinson, Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, S-182 GRECC, 1660 South Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108, USA. e-mail: wilkinso@ 123456uw.edu

                This article was submitted to Frontiers in Neurotrauma, a specialty of Frontiers in Neurology.

                Copyright © 2012 Wilkinson, Pagulayan, Petrie, Mayer, Colasurdo, Shofer, Hart, Hoff, Tarabochia and Peskind.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

                : 02 December 2011
                : 17 January 2012
                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 4, Equations: 0, References: 107, Pages: 12, Words: 11004
                Original Research

                pituitary,blast,growth hormone,concussion,traumatic brain injury,hypopituitarism
                pituitary, blast, growth hormone, concussion, traumatic brain injury, hypopituitarism


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