Growth hormone treatment in human ageing : benefits and risks / Roberta Giordano, Lorenza Bonelli, Elisa Marinazzo, Ezio Ghigo, Emanuela Arvat
- Hormones 7 (2008) 2 (April-June), p. 133-139
- PMID: 18477550
- DOI: 10.1007/BF03401504
This paper will focus on the rationale of using Growth Hormone (GH) as an anti-ageing therapy in the healthy elderly with age-related decline in the activity of the GH/IGF-I axis, the so called "somatopause". Although the age-related decline in the activity of the GH/IGF-I axis is considered to contribute to age-related changes similar to those observed in Growth Hormone Deficient (GHD) adults, GH/IGF-I deficiency or resistance is also known to result in prolonged life expectancy, at least in animals. These data raise the question whether or not GH deficiency constitutes a beneficial adaptation to ageing and therefore requires no therapy. Moreover, although GH therapy has been shown to exert positive effects in GHD patients, its safety, efficacy and role in healthy elderly individuals is highly controversial. This review provides a comprehensive account of the implications of GH therapy in the ageing subject.