Neuroendocrine Damage After Brain Injury

Neuroendocrine Damage After Brain Injury

How to explain neuroendocrine damage after brain injury?

We have all heard of hormones.  The term is used lightly while describing someone’s emotions and actions.  “It must be a hormonal thing” or “obviously they didn’t take their hormones”.  Or we could relate them to “steroids”.  Athletes are known to take them as “performance enhancement drugs” and if they get caught they have to deal with the consequences as they are illegal and not allowed in almost any competitive sports activity. The endocrine system in our body is what is responsible for the delivery  of hormones.   Hormones are actually chemical substances that are secreted by cells into the extracellular fluids that regulate the metabolic function of other cells in the body.  Most of them are classified as either amino acids or steroids.

There are many endocrine organs and they are scattered around the body.  The neuroendocrine organ is the hypothalamus and the pituitary axis.  Rarely is someone considering neuroendocrine damage after brain injury. Neuroendocrine complications are hard to detect even when they are looked for.  If not detected they may have a great impact on rehabilitation and the outcome of a traumatic brain injured individual.

It has been found that when the pituitary system incurs damage in people who have suffered brain injury, whether it be severe or even subtle brain injury, growth hormone deficiency can occur.  There are many post-traumatic symptoms that can be blamed on neuroendocrine damage after brain injury.  Some of these symptoms can be;

  • Short term or long term memory issues,
  • Fatigue or sleeplessness,
  • Distractibility or Issues with Concentration, and
  • Anxiety or Depression Issues

These impairments may also be blamed on frontal lobe deficits but it is quite possible that they are caused by neuroendocrine damage after brain injury from organs such as the hypothalamus or the pituitary axis.  Even if traumatic brain injury isn’t the diagnosis, people who are suffering from these symptoms may very well have had a closed head injury and suffered from damage to the neuroendocrine system.  An Endocrinologist is the specialist that should be consulted.

As with any TBI, it may take some time to assess all the damage from neuroendocrine damage after brain injury. Once diagnosed and treated it will make  rehabilitation less complicated and time consuming.

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Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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