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Hormone Replacement Therapy

Growth hormone stimulants aid older adults

12 years, 11 months ago

1818  0
Posted on Jul 10, 2006, 10 a.m. By Bill Freeman

U.S. scientists say a compound that stimulates growth hormone secretion can help older adults lower body fat percentage and improve physical function. Dr. George Merriam of the University of Washington helped coordinate endocrine aspects of the study with Dr. Heidi White of Duke University and Pfizer Inc. researchers.
U.S. scientists say a compound that stimulates growth hormone secretion can help older adults lower body fat percentage and improve physical function.

Dr. George Merriam of the University of Washington helped coordinate endocrine aspects of the study with Dr. Heidi White of Duke University and Pfizer Inc. researchers.

Nearly 400 adults ages 65-to-84 were divided into groups receiving a placebo or one of four different levels of the oral growth hormone GHS, which stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone.

Participants receiving the GHS treatment had a significant increase in lean body mass, as well as improved physical function.

"If we had something that could reduce (the older age) drop-off in physical function, we could improve the quality of life for older adults, and help cut the cost burden of long-term care," said Merriam. "What we'd like to do is take the steep curve of physical function decreasing with age, and make that a much shallower decline or even a plateau, so people will retain more physical mobility and strength as they age instead of deteriorating."

The study was presented Wednesday, during the International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Pittsburgh.

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