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Brain Dev. 1992 May;14(3):170-4.

Sleep disturbance in children with growth hormone deficiency.

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Department of Pediatrics, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


We examined the effects of growth hormone (GH) deficiency on sleep development by performing all-night polysomnography in three female children with GH deficiency (GHD). The percentage of REM sleep seemed to be reduced before the treatment in 2 cases, and human GH (hGH) compensation slightly increased it. Submental twitch movements (mTMs), i.e., body movements during sleep localized in the submental muscle and lasting less than 0.5 seconds, were commonly disturbed in the three patients. Rapid eye movements in REM sleep (REMs) were reduced before the therapy in one case, this decrease being reversed on hGH compensation. REMs also seemed to increase after hGH treatment in the other two cases. Dopamines and cholinergic muscarinic agonists can cause GH release, while mTMs and REMs might be related to dopaminergic and cholinergic systems in the human brain. It is intriguing that GHD, and the disturbance of mTMs and REMs coexisted in children with GHD. Since a relatively poor social outcome in patients with GHD has been reported, even after hGH compensation, it is important to monitor their neurological development by means of evaluation of their sleep disturbance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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