Childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency, cognitive function and brain N-acetylaspartate

P Sytze van Dam, Channa F de Winter, Rehana de Vries, Jeroen van der Grond, Madeleine L Drent, Marijn Lijffijt, J Leon Kenemans, André Aleman, Edward H F de Haan, Hans P F Koppeschaar

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Cognitive deficits have been reported in adults with childhood-onset growth hormone (GH) deficiency. We evaluated cognitive deficits simultaneously with parameters for neuronal integrity using (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in a cross-sectional design. We studied 11 adults (mean age 24.5 years) with childhood-onset GH deficiency, which persisted after reaching final height. All subjects were evaluated after interruption of GH supplementation for at least 3 months. We performed neuropsychological assessment (NPA) using tests evaluating memory, mental processing speed, reading ability and executive functioning. MRS was used to assess brain N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/choline ratios. Data were compared with an age-, sex- and education-matched control group (n=9, mean age 27.3 years). NPA demonstrated attenuated performance of the patients in the delayed verbal memory recall score (P<0.05) and the trail making A test (P<0.05), a measure of planning of behavior, processing speed and attention. Other neuropsychological tests were not affected. NAA/choline ratios were significantly reduced (P<0.01) in GH deficient subjects. Specific cognitive defects indicating affected memory and attention were found in patients with childhood-onset GH deficiency. These defects occur simultaneously with reduced neuronal integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-63
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

Cite this

van Dam, P. S., de Winter, C. F., de Vries, R., van der Grond, J., Drent, M. L., Lijffijt, M., ... Koppeschaar, H. P. F. (2005). Childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency, cognitive function and brain N-acetylaspartate. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30(4), 357-63.