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See detailCognitive, emotional and psychosocial functioning of girls treated with pharmacological puberty blockage for idiopathic central precocious puberty
Wojniusz, S; Callens, N; Sütterlin, S et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2016), 7

Central precocious puberty (CPP) develops due to premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, resulting in early pubertal changes and rapid bone maturation. CPP is associated ... [more ▼]

Central precocious puberty (CPP) develops due to premature activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, resulting in early pubertal changes and rapid bone maturation. CPP is associated with lower adult height and increased risk for development of psychological problems. Standard treatment of CPP is based on postponement of pubertal development by blockade of the HPG axis with gonadotropin releasing hormone analogs (GnRHa) leading to abolition of gonadal sex hormones synthesis. Whereas the hormonal and auxological effects of GnRHa are well researched, there is a lack of knowledge whether GnRHa treatment influences psychological functioning of treated children, despite the fact that prevention of psychological problems is used as one of the main reasons for treatment initiation. In the present study we seek to address this issue by exploring differences in cognitive function, behavior, emotional reactivity, and psychosocial problems between GnRHa treated CPP girls and age-matched controls. Fifteen girls with idiopathic CPP; median age 10.4 years, treated with slow-release GnRHa (triptorelin acetate – Decapeptyl SR ® 11.25) and 15 age-matched controls, were assessed with a comprehensive test battery consisting of paper and pencil tests, computerized tasks, behavioral paradigms, heart rate variability, and questionnaires filled in by the children’s parents. Both groups showed very similar scores with regard to cognitive performance, behavioral and psychosocial problems. Compared to controls, treated girls displayed significantly higher emotional reactivity (p = 0.016; Cohen’s d = 1.04) on one of the two emotional reactivity task conditions. Unexpectedly, the CPP group showed significantly lower resting heart rates than the controls (p = 0.004; Cohen’s d = 1.03); lower heart rate was associated with longer treatment duration (r = - 0.582, p = 0.037). The results suggest that GnRHa treated CPP girls do not differ in their cognitive or psychosocial functioning from age matched controls. However, they might process emotional stimuli differently. The unexpected finding of lower heart rate that was associated with longer duration of the treatment should be further explored by methods appropriate for assessment of cardiac health. [less ▲]

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See detailConcerns, expectations and perception regarding stature, physical appearance and psychosocial functioning before and during high-dose growth hormone treatment of short pre-pubertal children born small for gestational age
Lagrou, K.; Froidecoeur, C.; Thomas, M. et al

in Hormone Research (2008), 69(6), 334-342

Background/Aims: Few data are available about parental concerns and psychosocial functioning of young children born small for gestational age (SGA) treated with growth hormone (GH). The present study ... [more ▼]

Background/Aims: Few data are available about parental concerns and psychosocial functioning of young children born small for gestational age (SGA) treated with growth hormone (GH). The present study focused on the perception of short stature and the concerns and expectations of the parents regarding GH treatment. Methods: Forty prepubertal short SGA children, randomized into a GH-treated and a GH-untreated group, and their parents were evaluated by a questionnaire and a semi-structured interview at start and after 2 years of follow-up. Results: Before start, 85% of the parents were concerned about short stature, 76% expected an increase in adult height of ≥10 cm and 81% expected a positive impact on well-being. Half of the parents expressed fears regarding GH treatment. After 2 years, more parents of treated children reported obvious growth and physical changes, and fewer parents reported teasing because of short stature. An improvement of well-being was reported by half of the parents of treated and untreated children. Fears about GH treatment disappeared almost completely. Conclusion: The perspective of GH treatment induced major adult height expectations. In treated children, the physical effects of GH treatment became obvious, teasing because of short stature decreased and initial concerns about short stature and GH therapy decreased. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of 2 years of high-dose growth hormone therapy on cognitive and psychological development in short children born small for gestational age
Lagrou, K.; Vanderfacillic, J.; Froidecoeur, C. et al

in European Journal of Endocrinology (2007), 156(2), 195-201

Objective and design: Children born small for gestational age (SGA) are not only at risk for short stature, but also for neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. In this study, we analyzed the effects ... [more ▼]

Objective and design: Children born small for gestational age (SGA) are not only at risk for short stature, but also for neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems. In this study, we analyzed the effects of high-dose GH therapy on cognitive development and psychosocial functioning in 34 prepubertal (3-8 years) short SGA children, equally randomized into a GH-treated group (TRG) and an untreated group (UTRG). Methods: At start and after 2 years, children underwent standardized tests measuring the intellectual abilities (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised, or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised); their parents completed a standardized questionnaire evaluating psychosocial functioning (Child Behavior Checklist; CBCL). Results: At start, total IQ scores were significantly (P<0.05) lower in the SGA group than in the general population: 32% of the SGA patients had scores below 85. After 2 years, IQ scores remained unchanged in the TRG, but increased significantly (P<0.05) in the UTRG. After exclusion of children with developmental problems, however, no significant changes in IQ scores occurred in the UTRG as well as the TRG. At baseline, 24% (8/34) children had problematic CBCL total problems scores, equally distributed among the two groups; no significant changes in the different subscale scores occurred after 2 years. Conclusion: No beneficial effect of 2 years of GH therapy on cognitive and behavioral profile could be observed in a cohort of rather young short SGA children presenting a variable degree of developmental delay and behavioral problems. Subsequent follow-up could reveal potential long-term effects of GH therapy on development and behavior. © 2007 Society of the European Journal of Endocrinology. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of novel and recurrent glucokinase mutations in Belgian and Luxembourg maturity onset diabetes of the young patients [1]
Vits, L.; Beckers, D.; Craen, M. et al

in Clinical Genetics (2006), 70(4), 355-359

[No abstract available]

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See detailSexual precocity after immigration from developing countries to Belgium: Evidence of previous exposure to organochlorine pesticides
Krstevska-Konstantinova, M.; Charlier, C.; Craen, M. et al

in Human Reproduction (2001), 16(103), 1020-1026

In a retrospective auxological study of 145 patients seen in Belgium during a 9-year period for treatment of precocious puberty, 28% appeared to be foreign children (39 girls, one boy) who immigrated 4 to ... [more ▼]

In a retrospective auxological study of 145 patients seen in Belgium during a 9-year period for treatment of precocious puberty, 28% appeared to be foreign children (39 girls, one boy) who immigrated 4 to 5 years earlier from 22 developing countries, without any link to a particular ethnic or country background. The patients were either adopted (n = 28) or non-adopted (n = 12), the latter having normal weight and height at immigration and starting early puberty without evidence of earlier deprivation. This led to the hypothesis that the mechanism of precocious puberty might involve previous exposure to oestrogenic endocrine disrupters. A toxicological plasma screening for eight pesticides detected p,p′-DDE, which is derived from the organochlorine pesticide DDT. Median p,p′-DDE concentrations were respectively 1.20 and 1.04 ng/ml in foreign adopted (n = 15) and non-adopted (n = 11) girls with precocious puberty, while 13 out of 15 Belgian native girls with idiopathic or organic precocious puberty showed undetectable concentrations (<0.1 ng/ml). A possible relationship between transient exposure to endocrine disrupters and sexual precocity is suggested, and deserves further studies in immigrant children with non-advanced puberty. [less ▲]

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