Growth Hormone Improves Sensory Function in Complete Spinal Injury

Deficiency Growth Hormone and Spinal Cord Injury: In March 2013, the Spanish Medicines Agency approved a pilot clinical trial to investigate the efficacy of growth hormone (GH) as an adjunct to intensive rehabilitation in patients with spinal cord injury and GH deficiency (SCI-GHD-201 study).

By Becky McCall May 24, 2017

Dr. Guillem Cuatrecasas
CPEN Coordinator

LISBON, Portugal — Six months of treatment with growth hormone has improved sensory function in patients with spinal-cord injury and concomitant growth-hormone deficiency, according to the first such trial of this approach.
“Changes in sensory quantification (electrical perception threshold) of up to five levels below the site of spinal injury were observed,” reported Gulliem Cuatrecasas, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist from Hospital Quiron-Teknon, Barcelona, Spain, who presented the work here at the European Congress of Endocrinology (ECE) 2017.

“This study looked at complete lesions, which are the severest form of spinal lesion, so we didn’t really expect to find any changes,” he stressed. Although these findings seem quite remarkable, it’s important that they are interpreted cautiously, “because it is not a solution for spinal-injury lesions. These patients do not walk again,” he stressed. But they may significantly affect quality of life. With these changes of up to five levels of improvement in sensation, “they may feel [the fact] that they are in a wheelchair, or they may feel a burning sensation or similar,” which may, for example, help to avoid pressure ulcers from wheelchair use.

And “autonomic nervous system processes also improved with less need for catheterization of the bladder after treatment with growth hormone,” Dr Cuatrecasas noted.

See the full article at Medscape

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