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Human Growth Hormone

People Treated with HGH Face CJD Risk

20 years, 3 months ago

8775  0
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 7 a.m. By Bill Freeman

[A4M Editor: Human-derived growth hormone was pulled from the market in spring of 1985, shortly following after, synthetic product was available by the end of that year.] Researchers have warned that people treated with human growth hormone (HGH) could be at risk of developing the fatal neurodegenerative disease CJD.

[A4M Editor: Human-derived growth hormone was pulled from the market in spring of 1985, shortly following after, synthetic product was available by the end of that year.]

Researchers have warned that people treated with human growth hormone (HGH) could be at risk of developing the fatal neurodegenerative disease CJD.

HGH has been used to treat children suffering from stunted growth since 1959. The hormone was originally obtained from the pituitary gland of human cadavers, however since concerns were voiced over the safety of the natural hormone back in the 1980's, it has been produced synthetically.

The warning applies to people who were treated with the natural form of HGH and comes after Dutch researchers uncovered evidence suggesting that such people may still be at risk of developing the disease - even if they only received low dose treatment.

Professor C M van Duijn and his colleagues note the case of a 47-year-old man who developed CJD 38-years after being given a low dose of HGH as part of a diagnostic procedure, when he was just 9-years-old. The authors believe that it is highly unlikely that this man would have developed CJD by chance, and they suggest that the incubation period of the disease was so long because the man received such a small dose. They also warn that as the patient was one of the first in the world to be treated with HGH, "This case indicates that still more patients with iatrogenic CJD can be expected in the coming years." An iatrognenic disease is one that is caused by medical treatment.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2002;72:792-793

[A4M Editor:  This man was given HGH derived from human cadavers in the era before the successful synthesis of HGH in the lab. Today, all injectable HGH is manufactured in the lab. ]

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