Growth hormone treatment for neurologic symptoms of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19

Traver Wright, Melinda Sheffield-Moore, Richard B. Pyles, Kathleen M. Randolph, Kristen A. McGovern, Christopher P. Danesi, Sarah E. Lindsay, Mohammed F. Zaidan, Brent E. Masel, Randall Urban

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following SARS-CoV-2 infection, some patients develop lingering neurologic symptoms of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) that commonly include fatigue and “brain fog.” PASC symptoms are also linked with reduced growth hormone (GH) secretion, but GH treatment has not been tested to relieve symptoms. We enrolled 13 adults with neurologic PASC symptoms and peak stimulated GH secretion less than 10 ng/mL (glucagon stimulation) in a pilot study to receive 9 months of daily GH injections and an additional 3 months of off-treatment assessment. We compared peak stimulated GH secretion at baseline and 12 months and assessed measures of cognition, metabolism, body composition, and physical performance over the first 6 months of treatment. Patient-reported outcomes of fatigue, quality of life, sleep, and mood were recorded at baseline and compared with timepoints at 6, 9, and 12 months. GH treatment was associated with significantly improved scores for Brief Fatigue Inventory, Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory, Quality of Life Assessment of Growth Hormone Deficiency in Adults, Profile of Mood States, and Beck Depression Inventory-II, with no significant change in Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Six months of adjunct GH treatment was not associated with significant changes in cognition, body composition, resting energy expenditure, or physical performance. Peak stimulated GH secretion was not altered at 12 months following 9 months of GH treatment. GH treatment significantly improved neurologic symptoms in PASC patients but cognition, sleep, and physical performance were not significantly altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13826
JournalClinical and translational science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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