Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia & Metabologia
Print version ISSN 0004-2730
BRONSTEIN, Marcello D.. Growth hormone replacement for "somatopause": solution or problem?. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab [online]. 2003, vol.47, n.4, pp. 323-330. ISSN 0004-2730. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-27302003000400005.
The extension of the life expectancy led to strategies aimed at improving the quality of life and productivity of aging persons. It is well known that, after the pubertal peak, the activity of the GH/IGF-1 axis progressively declines. Consequently, many normal individuals older than 60 years have 24-hour GH secretion indistinguishable from that of an adult patient with GH deficiency due to hypothalamic-pituitary lesions (ADGH). This physiological phenomenon is paralleled with many clinical aspects of ADGH, such as increased visceral and subcutaneous fat, decreased lean mass, osteoporosis, neuropsychological and psychiatric disorders. Since human recombinant GH administration was able to revert such conditions in AGHD, many studies have addressed the issue of GH replacement therapy to the "healthy" elderly in order to assess its potential benefits. This review aims at describing the potential mechanisms related to the somatotrophic axis decline with aging, its clinical manifestations, and the literature addressing GH replacement for the elderly, assessing benefits and side effects.
Keywords : Growth hormone; IGF-1; Somatopause.