Preprint Case Report Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Growth Hormone (GH) Administration Increases the Metabolic Activity of the left Hippocampus in an Elder Patient with Cognitive Disorders

Version 1 : Received: 9 May 2018 / Approved: 9 May 2018 / Online: 9 May 2018 (14:34:03 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 4 June 2018 / Approved: 5 June 2018 / Online: 5 June 2018 (15:18:11 CEST)

How to cite: Devesa, J.; Núñez, I.; Agra, C.; Bejarano, A.; Devesa, P. Growth Hormone (GH) Administration Increases the Metabolic Activity of the left Hippocampus in an Elder Patient with Cognitive Disorders. Preprints 2018, 2018050146. Devesa, J.; Núñez, I.; Agra, C.; Bejarano, A.; Devesa, P. Growth Hormone (GH) Administration Increases the Metabolic Activity of the left Hippocampus in an Elder Patient with Cognitive Disorders. Preprints 2018, 2018050146.


1) Background: We analyzed, by PET-SCAN, how growth hormone (GH) might act on the brain of a not GH-deficient elder woman who suspected that she was developing Alzheimer's disease; 2) Methods: After performing a first psychometric study (TAVEC verbal learning test), the metabolic activity of brain structures related to cognition, memory and behavior was analyzed by 18-F Fluorodeoxyglucose PET-SCAN. The patient was then treated with GH (0.4 mg/day) during three weeks and the last day under this treatment a new PET-SCAN was carried out. One month after commencing the treatment with GH a new TAVEC test was performed; 3) Results: GH administration normalized the cognitive deficits observed in the first cognitive test and significantly (p < 0.025) increased (Voxel-Based Morphometry) the metabolic activity in the left hippocampus, left amygdala and left parahippocampus, but also in practically all brain cortical areas; 4) Conclusions: This is the first study in which the effects of GH on the brain have been visualized in images. Our data confirm the positive effects of this hormone on cognition and memories; although they do not allow us to conclude whether GH administration may be useful in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, they seem to be promising.


growth hormone; cognition; hippocampus; amygdala; parahippocampus; recent memory; PET-SCAN; Alzheimer's disease.


Social Sciences, Cognitive Science

Comments (3)

Comment 1
Received: 27 July 2019
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: I think this is a novel and exciting Case report!
Congratulations on sharing this

It is a bold move to share such findings.

It appears to be widely read by many with multiple downloads so that is good.

I thought that you had some strong points in your discussion although I am thinking that the time frame might be too tight to demonstrate neurogenesis (just my personal thoughts only).

This case report reminds me so much of my past experience with the use of sodium thiosulfate to treat calciphylaxis and horrible ischemic pain of the skin ulcers during dialysis. Sodium thiosulfate alleviated this pain with its first use and like a miracle when analgesics including narcotics did nothing but dull her senses also gabapentin did not obtain any response to alleviate her pain and suffering. So in 2005 I first published a paper introducing sodium thiosulfate and followed that paper up with at least 4 more papers in Pubmed regarding calciphylaxis and treatment with sodium thiosulfate. Interestingly, sodium thiosulfate has now become a near-standard of care for those suffering from painful calciphylaxis and non-healing skin ulcerations ...

Of course many other authors published in this same region of interest during this time and more and more case reports emerged regarding the use of sodium thiosulfate in those with calciphylaxis.

I thought that I might suggest more emphasis regarding the past medical history of emotional stress and HPA axis, which is known to be related to stress and even apprehension and tempory depression and concert. HPA axix dysfunction is closely related to symptoms in her past medical history and review of her stressful situation she was experiencing . HPA axis dysfunction could certainly interfere with the capillary neurovascular units barrier function and also contribute to the defects on the PET Scans in Figures you shared. We now know that Growth Hormone can pass the Blood-brain barrier due to paper by

Pan W1, Yu Y, Cain CM, Nyberg F, Couraud PO, Kastin AJ: Permeation of growth hormone across the blood-brain barrier.

Endocrinology. 2005 Nov;146(11):4898-904. Epub 2005 Aug 11.

Do you think that administration of GH may have been responsible for the improved PET Scanning due to improving these capillary NVU barrier dysfunctions and improve localized capillary NVU cerebral blood flow?

I am looking forward to reading more case reports in the future regarding GH. I am also looking forward to the outcome studies of human intranasal insulin over the coming months and years ahead.

I think, follow up regarding this patients ongoing outcome is very important!

My wife survived her calciphylaxis for 6 years of chronic hemodialysis pain-free and her skin ulceratios healed in a 2 month time period and she never had reoccurance of skin ulcerations following her intitial use or chronic use of sodium thiosulfate. Unfortunately, she has died of valvular endocarditis now 9 years ago this coming month of August and she was the one who encouraged me to write these papers since it helped her so much!

Thank you for sharing your case report on


Melvin R (Pete) Hayden
University of Missouri School of Medicine
Columbia, MIssouri USA
right in the very center of the United States
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Comment 2
Received: 29 July 2019
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Melvin,
thank you very much for your comments. This paper has been published in its definitive form in Int J Mol Sci 2018.
Of course, I know that GH easily crosses the BBB, and I have a lot of experience about the role of GH on the brain. The first time I used GH for trying to repair a brain injury was in 2002, after my oldest son, aged 22 and student of Molecular Biology, had a terrific car accident, producing him multiple brain hemorrhages, Subarachnoideal hemorrhage, diffuse axonal injury, and even brain stem injuries. There were no alternatives, so I decided to give him GH, when he was in the ICU, in a coma. I used it because I ever worked on this hormone and I thought that it could be useful. In fact, 8 months later he finished his university studies, he is European Ph.D., he did and he does research and he is happily married. No sequelae exist, in spite of the bad prognosis. After it, I decided to create a Foundation devoted to helping people with brain injuries. There we treated and we treat more than 8.000 patients, stroke, TBI, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, etc..., with a 75-80% of positive results. The sequence was always the same: GH plus melatonin (high doses) and specific rehabilitation.
In this case, the paper, I knew the patient before she began the treatment. She was very active and intelligent and no problems existed in her life until she began to feel this lack of recent memory. We studied her carefully before we decided to analyze her brain by means of a PET-SCAN. This PET-Scan revealed deficits in left-brain areas involved in recent memory, behavior and executive functions. It was then when we decided to treat her with GH and melatonin, one month later the PET-SCAN changed considerably, as they did her answers in cognitive tests. I don't know whether GH induced neurogenesis, it is impossible to know it in living humans, but we saw it in mice, and we published it in BMC Neurosci 2014, this was a work by my son.
I regret sincerely what happened to your wife, but our experience has been useful to others. That is life.
Best regards and thank you again.
Jesús Devesa
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Response 1 to Comment 2
Received: 30 July 2019
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear Melin,
in my answer to you yesterday, I forgot to tell you that 1 year and 4 months after finishing with GH treatment the patient is perfect, as she was before she suffered her lack of recent memory, etc. She is taking Melatonin, 200 mg/day, and nothing adverse occurred, just the opposite.

Best regards

Jesús Devesa

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