Pituitary Dysfunction

Traumatic brain injury factors.

Posted Mar 14, 2019

I continue to receive testimonials from the patients of Mark L. Gordon, MD about the astounding results he is achieving through Hormone Replacement Therapy treating traumatic brain injuries.  Over thirty testimonials were obtained from patients writing comments to my blog posts reporting on Dr. Gordon’s work as a neuroendocrinologist evaluating hormonal dysfunction for patients who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.  From the testimonials, Dr. Gordon has helped restore the lives of many veterans and others who have sustained disabling TBIs with symptoms of PTSD.

Another neuroendocrinology researcher, Charles W. Wilkinson, Ph.D., at the University of Washington and V.A. is doing cutting-edge research on pituitary dysfunction after blast impact. Dr. Wilkinson reviewed 25 studies that investigated hypopituitary dysfunction after impact TBIs, which showed an average finding of over 38% for the total of 2,618 subjects collectively.  Hypopituitary rates across the studies ranged from 5% to 90%.  Wilkinson noted the overlapping symptoms of PTSD and Posttraumatic Hypopituitarism (PTHP) which include anxiety, irritability, social isolation, depression, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbances, cognitive deficits, attention deficits, fatigue and poor quality of life. 

Due to the position of the pituitary gland in the brain, it is particularly vulnerable to rotational force injury.  The pituitary gland is called the master gland because it controls many of the other hormone glands in the body.  The Growth Hormone-secreting cells are the most vulnerable to injury.  Wilkinson believes that failure to consider the PTHP diagnosis with patients presenting with PTSD may result in inappropriate and ineffective treatment.  He stated in a psychiatric grand rounds presentation that symptoms that result from PTHP are generally responsive to hormone replacement therapy (HPT). 

More clinicians need to be aware of the potential role that pituitary dysfunction may be playing in the psychological and physical symptoms their patients are presenting, and make appropriate referrals for endocrine studies.  The work of Gordon, Wilkinson, and others offers great hope for many veterans and other TBI survivors who have not responded to the traditional psychiatric approach.