The secretory activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is influenced by suprahypothalamic regulatory mechanisms. To evaluate the effect of brain lesions on hormonal patterns, we investigated eight patients convalescing from hemispheric stroke and five sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers. Studies were conducted during two consecutive nights with continuous polygraphic recording and sequential blood sampling. Nocturnal plasma hormone measurements showed a normal rhythm of cortisol (a marker of ACTH), elevated prolactin concentrations (p < 0.05) and low growth hormone values (p < 0.05). The study suggests that major suprahypothalamic lesions influence hypothalamic function so as to facilitate prolactin secretion and inhibit growth hormone release. They have no effect on the more basic pattern of ACTH-cortisol secretion, however.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology