Friday, October 12, 2012

GHRH May Help Keep Seniors Mentally Sharp

Could growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) injections keep seniors mentally sharp regardless of whether they have mild cognitive impairment? An intriguing new study headed by Michael Vitiello, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington, suggests that this is the case. The results were published recently in the Archives of Neurology.

The study included 137 adults aged 55 to 87 of whom 76 had normal cognitive status and 61 had mild cognitive impairment. The subjects received either a synthetic analog of human GHRH or a placebo for 20 weeks. The executive-function test results for the group that received GHRH were significantly better than for those who received a placebo. And even though the healthy adults outperformed those with mild cognitive impairment overall, the cognitive benefit of GHRH relative to placebo was comparable for both groups. And while not quite statistically significant, a similar pattern of results emerged for verbal memory.

"This is a well-conducted trial by an outstanding group of investigators with expertise in cognitive disorders of later life," Dilip Jeste, M.D., chair in aging at the University of California, San Diego, and president of APA, told Psychiatric News. "The results are highly promising."

Read more about this study in the latest issue of Psychiatric News.

(Image: Andreser/Shutterstock,com)


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