Recombinant human growth hormone replacement in mild TBI

Brain Artwork

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 survivors.

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).