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Differential inhibition of postnatal brain, spinal cord and body growth by a growth hormone antagonist

BioMed Central
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What is groWth hormone deficiency? Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is a rare condition in which the body does not make enough growth hormone (GH). GH is made by the pituitary gland, a small organ at the base of the brain. In children, GH is essential for normal growth, muscle and bone strength, and distribution of body fat. It also helps control glucose (sugar) and lipid (fat) levels in the body. Without enough GH, a child is likely to grow slowly and be much shorter than other children of the same age and gender. It’s important for parents to know that there are many reasons for slow growth and below-average height in children. At times, slow growth is normal and temporary, such as right before puberty starts. A pediatric endocrinologist (children’s hormone specialist) or primary care doctor can help find out why a child is growing slowly. did you knoW? Most children with growth hormone deficiency grow less than two inches (5 centimeters) each year. What causes GhD? Some children are born with GHD. Others develop it after birth due to a brain injury, a tumor, or radiation treatment to the head. For some children, doctors can find no cause. hoW is GhD DiaGnoseD? Your doctor will review your child’s medical history and growth charts, and look for signs of GHD and other conditions that affect growth. Your doctor may do tests to help find the cause of slow growth. These include • An X-ray of the hand to check bone growth (bone age) and assess growth potential • Blood tests and other laboratory tests to rule out other conditions that affect growth Specific tests for GHD include • insulin-like growth factor (iGF-1). A blood test checks levels of IGF-1, a hormone that reflects GH levels. • Gh stimulation test. The child is given medicines that stimulate the pituitary to release GH. Then, if GH levels in the blood don’t rise to a certain level, it can mean the pituitary is not making enough GH. • Magnetic resonance image (MRi). An MRI (imag

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