Recent studies have shown that the pituitary gland is particularly susceptible
to traumatic brain injury. Since the pituitary gland is responsible for
hormone release, hormone deficiency is a common problem in brain injury
Growth hormone deficiency is the most common hormone deficiency found after
TBI, regardless of severity. Growth hormone deficiency is related to muscle
weakness, diminished lean muscle mass, increased fat mass, and reduced
bone density. TBI survivors with this deficiency may also experience extreme
fatigue, sleep disturbances, metabolic changes, as well as an increased
risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality.
In a recent case study of a woman with mild TBI, recombinant human growth
hormone replacement was administered for a year. Before the replacement
therapy was administered, she had complained of a weight gain of 25 pounds,
poor concentration, and fatigue. After the therapy, she showed decreased
weight, increased lean mass, decreased fat mass, increased some muscle
strength, and improved aerobic capacity.
However, the hormone replacement therapy did not seem to improve her cognitive
complaints. Furthermore, the researchers suggested that more significant
improvement required a combination of both hormone therapy and physical exercise.
Bhagia V, Gilkison C, Fitts RH, et al. Effects of recombinant growth hormone
replacement in a growth hormone deficient subject recovering from mild
traumatic brain injury: A case report. Brain Injury. (March 2010).