JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Neuroendocrine Disturbances after Brain Damage: An Important and Often Undiagnosed Disorder

Fatih Tanriverdi, Fahrettin Kelestimur
Journal of Clinical Medicine 2015, 4 (5): 847-57
26239451
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common and significant public health problem all over the world. Until recently, TBI has been recognized as an uncommon cause of hypopituitarism. The studies conducted during the last 15 years revealed that TBI is a serious cause of hypopituitarism. Although the underlying pathophysiology has not yet been fully clarified, new data indicate that genetic predisposition, autoimmunity and neuroinflammatory changes may play a role in the development of hypopituitarism. Combative sports, including boxing and kickboxing, both of which are characterized by chronic repetitive head trauma, have been shown as new causes of neuroendocrine abnormalities, mainly hypopituitarism, for the first time during the last 10 years. Most patients with TBI-induced pituitary dysfunction remain undiagnosed and untreated because of the non-specific and subtle clinical manifestations of hypopituitarism. Replacement of the deficient hormones, of which GH is the commonest hormone lost, may not only reverse the clinical manifestations and neurocognitive dysfunction, but may also help posttraumatic disabled patients resistant to classical treatment who have undiagnosed hypopituitarism and GH deficiency in particular. Therefore, early diagnosis, which depends on the awareness of TBI as a cause of neuroendocrine abnormalities among the medical community, is crucially important.

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