Growth Hormone for Adults

With the advent of puberty, the window of opportunity closes for increasing height through GH intervention due to a "capping" of skeletal growth potential. Further, GH levels normally decline with age in all populations. Entering adulthood already GH-deficient presents significant health risks, including osteoporosis, increased body fat, decreased muscle mass, increased risks for heart and vascular disease, fatigue, social isolation and psychological depression. Thus in 1995 the FDA approved GH replacement therapy for those with either childhold or adult-onset GH deficiency. An area of research currently is the use of GH in a geriatric population, often with stunning results. Recent studies indicate that adults with PWS continue to have the same GH deficiency that was present in childhood, with the same health risks attendant to non-PWS, GH-deficient adults. Most adults with PWS also are deficient in sex steriod/sex hormone production, which further increases the health risks associated with GH deficiency. Thus in addition to a possible improved body composition, the potential for improved long-term health strongly suggested the need to study GH therapy for adults with PWS.

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