, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 73-76

Functional consequences of the somatopause and its treatment

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The decline in the function of the growth hormone-releasing hormone, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor (GHRH-GH-IGF) axis has been termed the somatopause. Many of the catabolic sequelae seen in normal aging has been attributed to this decrease in circulating GH and IGF-I. In order to provide hormone replacement therapy for the somatopause, elderly subjects have been treated with GH, IGF-I, or both hormones together. Whereas numerous beneficial effects on body composition, strength, and quality of life have been reported in some studies, other studies have reported only marginal functional imporvements. Moreover, it is clear that both hormones can cause significant morbidity.