Effects of growth hormone on cognitive, motor, and behavioral development in Prader-Willi syndrome children: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Abstract

Purpose

The benefits of growth hormone (GH) therapy in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) children are well established, but there is still considerable controversy regarding whether GH treatment can improve cognitive, motor, and behavioral development in PWS children. The objectives of this meta-analysis were to quantitatively evaluate the effects of GH on cognitive, motor function, and behavioral development in PWS children.

Methods

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the effects of GH on cognitive, motor, and behavioral development in PWS children were identified by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases. Intervention effects were represented by Hedges’g and pooled to calculate effect sizes using a random-effects model.

Results

Ten relevant studies comprising data from 302 participants were finally included. We observed no significant difference in cognitive performance between the GH treatment group and the control group (p = 0.197). GH treatment was shown to remarkably improve motor development in PWS children compared with the control treatment (p < 0.001), with moderate positive treatment effects (Hedges’g [95% CI] = 0.71 [0.38, 1.03]). There were no significant differences between the GH group and the control group based on objective assessments of behavioral development (p = 0.53).

Conclusions

The meta-analysis suggested that GH treatment had a significantly positive effect on motor development, with moderate treatment effects in PWS children; however, there was no evidence of effects on cognitive or behavioral development.

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Data availability

Some or all data, generated or used during the study are available from the corresponding author by request.

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Correspondence to Hui Pan or Shi Chen.

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These authors contributed equally: Yunyun Luo, Zhoude Zheng

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Luo, Y., Zheng, Z., Yang, Y. et al. Effects of growth hormone on cognitive, motor, and behavioral development in Prader-Willi syndrome children: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Endocrine (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12020-020-02547-3

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Keywords

  • Growth hormone (GH)
  • Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS)
  • cognition
  • motor
  • behavior