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Nearly half of veterans found with blast concussions might have hormone deficiencies
Date:4/22/2013

BOSTONUp to 20 percent of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have experienced at least one blast concussion. New research suggests that nearly half these veterans may have a problem so under-recognized that even military physicians may fail to look for it. A new study conducted by Charles W. Wilkinson, Elizabeth A. Colasurdo, Kathleen F. Pagulayan, Jane. B. Shofer, and Elaine R. Peskind, all of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the University of Washington in Seattle, has found that about 42 percent of screened veterans with blast injuries have irregular hormone levels indicative of hypopituitarism.

Many conditions associated with hypopituitarism mimic other common problems that veterans can suffer, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, explains study leader Wilkinson. However, unlike those other conditions, those under the banner head of hypopituitarism can be can often be well-controlled by replacing the deficient hormones. "This could be a largely missed opportunity for successful treatment," Wilkinson says.

The team will discuss their study, entitled, "Prevalence of Chronic Hypopituitarism After Blast Concussion," at the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting, being held April 20-24, 2013 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Boston, Mass. The poster presentation is sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS), a co-sponsor of the event. As the findings are being presented at a scientific conference, they should be considered preliminary, as they have not undergone the peer review process that is conducted prior to the data being published in a scientific journal.

A Simple Screen

Wilkinson explains that researchers have recently recognized that traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause hypopituitarisma decrease in the concentrations of at least one of eight hormones produced by the pituitary, a gland seated at the base of the brain. Studies in the last
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Contact: Donna Krupa
dkrupa@the-aps.org
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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