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Horm Res Paediatr. 2015 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Growth Hormone Treatment Improves Cognitive Function in Short Children with Growth Hormone Deficiency.

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Gothenburg Pediatric Growth Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Clinical Science, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



We investigated the association between cognition and growth hormone (GH) status and GH treatment in short prepubertal children with broadly ranging GH secretion.


A total of 99 children (age 3-11 years), 41 with GH deficiency (GHD) and 58 with idiopathic short stature (ISS), were randomized to a fixed dose (43 µg/kg/day) or a prediction model-guided individualized dose (17-100 µg/kg/day) and followed up for 24 months. In a longitudinal and mixed within- and between-subjects study, we examined clinical effect size changes, measured by Cohen's d, in full-scale IQ (FSIQ) and secondary IQ indices.


Significant increases giving medium effect size in FSIQ (p = 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.63), performance IQ (p = 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.65) and processing speed (p = 0.005, Cohen's d = 0.71) were found in the GH-deficient group. In contrast, perceptual organization only increased in the ISS group (p = 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.53). Baseline IQ was normally distributed with small but significant differences between the groups: GH-deficient children had lower FSIQ (p = 0.042) and lower performance IQ (p = 0.021). Using multiple regression analysis, 40% of the variance in delta processing speed scores (0-24 months) was explained by GHmax and IGF-ISDS at baseline.


IQ, specifically fluid intelligence, increased in the GH-deficient children. The pretreatment status of the GH/IGF-I axis was significantly predictive for these changes. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.


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