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Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Nov;31(5):E2. doi: 10.3171/2011.8.FOCUS11182.

Sports-related chronic repetitive head trauma as a cause of pituitary dysfunction.

Author information

1
Centre d'Investigation Clinique 201, Epidemiologie Pharmacologie Investigation Clinique Information medicale Mere Enfant, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Groupement Hospitalier Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, France.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is recognized as a cause of hypopituitarism even after mild TBI. Although over the past decade, a growing body of research has detailed neuroendocrine changes induced by TBI, the mechanisms and risk factors responsible for this pituitary dysfunction are still unclear. Around the world, sports-especially combative sports-are very popular. However, sports are not generally considered as a cause of TBI in most epidemiological studies, and the link between sports-related head trauma and hypopituitarism has not been investigated until recently. Thus, there is a paucity of data regarding this important concern. Because of the large number of young sports participants with near-normal life expectancy, the implications of undiagnosed or untreated postconcussion pituitary dysfunction can be dramatic. Understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms and risk factors of hypopituitarism caused by sports injuries is thus an important issue that concerns both medical staff and sponsors of sports. The aim of this paper was to summarize the best evidence for understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms and to discuss the current data and recommendations on sports-related head trauma as a cause of hypopituitarism.

PMID:
22044101
DOI:
10.3171/2011.8.FOCUS11182
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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