30 November 2010
Cerebral palsy is an important health issue that has a strong socioeconomic impact. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and therapeutic approaches only report small benefits for affected people. In this study we assessed the effects of growth hormone treatment (0.3 μg/kg/day) combined with physical rehabilitation in the recovery of gross motor function in children with growth hormone deficiency and cerebral palsy (four males and six females, mean age 5.63 ± 2.32 years) as compared with that observed in a similar population of cerebral palsy children (five males, five females, mean age 5.9 ± 2.18 years) without growth hormone deficiency treated only with physical rehabilitation for two months. The Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88) and Modified Ashworth Scale were performed before commencing the treatment and after completion thereof. In children with cerebral palsy and growth hormone deficiency, Dimension A ( P < 0.02), dimension B ( P < 0.02), and dimension C ( P < 0.02) of the GMFM-88, and the total score of the test ( P < 0.01) significantly improved after the treatment; dimension D and dimension E did not increase, and four of five spastic patients showed a reduction in spasticity. However, in children with cerebral palsy and without growth hormone deficiency, only the total score of the test improved significantly after the treatment period. This indicates that growth hormone replacement therapy was responsible for the large differences observed between both groups in response to physical rehabilitation. We propose that the combined therapy involving growth hormone administration and physical rehabilitation may be a useful therapeutic approach in the recovery of gross motor function in children with growth hormone deficiency and cerebral palsy.