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Horm Behav. 2005 Mar;47(3):343-9. Epub 2005 Jan 16.

Long-term growth hormone treatment preserves GH-induced memory and mood improvements: a 10-year follow-up study in GH-deficient adult men.

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Department of Endocrinology, VU University Medical Center, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Growth hormone (GH) replacement therapy with duration of several years is known to be safe and beneficial in GH-deficient adult patients. However, long-term follow-up data on GH substitution, cognition, and well-being are scarce. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the benefits of GH replacement in psychological functioning found in previous studies lasting up to 2 years are preserved over a 10-year follow-up period. Twenty-three men (mean age at baseline 28.6 years) with childhood-onset GH deficiency were studied during a 10-year period of GH substitution. Memory tasks, mood questionnaires, and IGF-I values were obtained at baseline and after 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 10 years of GH substitution. Both mood and memory improved during GH therapy. After 6 months of treatment, anxiety and tension were reduced and vigor had improved. Memory improved after 1 year of substitution. These improvements were maintained during the 10-year follow-up period. Higher intra-subject IGF-I levels were associated with better mood (anxiety, tension, vigor). This study shows that 10 years of GH therapy is beneficial in terms of well-being and cognitive functioning in childhood-onset GH-deficient men. It may be concluded that once the decision to start GH treatment has been taken, this may imply that GH therapy has to be continued for a long period to maintain the psychological improvements and to prevent a relapse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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