Functional Changes after Recombinant Human Growth Hormone Replacement in Patients with Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury and Abnormal Growth Hormone Secretion

Kurt A. Mossberg, William J. Durham, Dennis J. Zgaljardic, Charles R. Gilkison, Christopher P. Danesi, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Brent E. Masel, Randall Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


We explored the effects of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) replacement on physical and cognitive functioning in subjects with a moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) with abnormal growth hormone (GH) secretion. Fifteen individuals who sustained a TBI at least 12 months prior to study enrollment were identified as having abnormal GH secretion by glucagon stimulation testing (maximum GH response less than 8 ng/mL). Peak cardiorespiratory capacity, body composition, and muscle force testing were assessed at baseline and one year after rhGH replacement. Additionally, standardized neuropsychological tests that assess memory, processing speed, and cognitive flexibility, as well as self-report inventories related to depression and fatigue, were administered at baseline and 1 year after rhGH replacement. Comparison tests were performed with proper post hoc analyses. All analyses were carried out at α < 0.05. Peak O2 consumption, peak oxygen pulse (estimate of cardiac stroke volume), and peak ventilation all significantly increased (p < 0.05). Maximal isometric and isokinetic force production were not altered. Skeletal muscle fatigue did not change but the perceptual rating of fatigue was reduced by ∼25% (p = 0.06). Cognitive performance did not change significantly over time, whereas self-reported symptoms related to depression and fatigue significantly improved. The observed changes suggest that rhGH replacement has a positive impact on cardiorespiratory fitness and a positive impact on perceptual fatigue in survivors of TBI with altered GH secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2017



  • Cognitive
  • Growth hormone
  • Physical
  • TBI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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