Pituitary Dysfunction as a Result of Traumatic Brain Injury

A victim of brain injury can experience many consequences and complications as a result of brain damage. Unfortunately, the problems caused by a traumatic brain injury can extend even beyond what most people think of as the standard symptoms of a brain injury, like mood change and cognitive impairment. One issue which can occur is pituitary dysfunction. If the pituitary gland is damaged due to injury to the brain, the consequences can be dramatic as the pituitary gland works together with the hypothalamus to control every hormonal aspect of a person’s body.

Pituitary dysfunction as a result of a brain injury can be difficult to diagnose, as you may not immediately connect your symptoms to the head injury you experienced. If you did suffer injury to the pituitary gland, you need to know about it so you can get proper treatment. If someone else caused your brain injury to occur, you also want to know about your pituitary dysfunction so you can receive compensation for costs and losses associated with this serious health problem.

The pituitary is a small area of the center of your brain that is about the size of the uvula. The pituitary is surrounded and guarded by bone, but it does hang down.  When it becomes damaged as a result of a brain injury, the damage normally occurs as a result of the fact the pituitary was affected by reduced by reduced blood flow. It can also be harmed directly from the trauma, and only a tiny amount of damage can cause profound consequences.

Many of the important hormones that your body needs are controlled by the pituitary working with the hypothalamus. If the pituitary is damaged, the result can include a deficiency of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This deficiency can affect your heart and can impact bone development.  Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) can also be affected, which could result in hypothyroidism. Sex hormones (gonodotropin); Adrenocorticotopic hormone; and many other hormones could be impacted as well, causing fertility problems; muscle loss; sexual dysfunction; kidney problems; fatigue; or even death.

Unfortunately, problems with the pituitary gland may not always be visible on MRIs or other imaging tests because the pituitary is so small. Endocrinologists who handle hormone therapy frequently are not familiar with brain injuries, and may not make the connection that your brain injury was the cause of the problem.

If you begin to experience hormonal issues following an accident, you should be certain to get an accurate diagnosis to determine if your brain injury played a role. If it did, those responsible for causing the accident could be responsible for compensating you for the harm you have experienced to your pituitary and to the body systems which malfunction as a result of your new hormonal issues.

Nelson Blair Langer Engle, PLLC

From http://www.nblelaw.com/posts/pituitary-dysfunction-result-of-traumatic-brain-injury

Prince George’s woman works to raise awareness about rare disease

Lanham resident to speak at Patient Education Day event about Cushing’s disease

By Sophie Petit Staff Writer
stacy

Greg Dohler/The Gazette

Lanham resident Stacey L. Hardy, a survivor of Cushing’s disease, will speak about her experience with the pituitary disorder at an upcoming event at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Stacy L. Hardy of Lanham described herself as athletic, which is why she became concerned when in 1996 she mysteriously gained 240 pounds that took five doctors 14 years to determine she had a potentially fatal disease.

Now Hardy said she wants to raise awareness among others who may unknowingly have Cushing’s disease, but are unaware of the symptoms and treatment.

It wasn’t until 2010 that Hardy, now 43, was diagnosed with the disease, a rare disorder that causes the body to release too much cortisol, the body’s stress or “fight or flight” hormone, said Gary Wand, a pituitary gland specialist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Excess cortisol causes weight gain, especially in the stomach, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, anxiety and depression, he said.

“I didn’t even know what Cushing’s was. I was ready to just live with [the symptoms],” Hardy said, adding that by the time she was diagnosed she felt so tired she could barely move.

At 5 feet, 4 inches tall, Hardy said she reached 365 pounds during her struggle with the disease.

“We knew something for a while wasn’t right, but I never thought it would be something like that,” said Hardy’s daughter, Paij Hardy, 21, a student at Baltimore City Community College.

Just three out of every one million people are diagnosed with Cushing’s each year, said Wand, who estimates he sees 30 patients per year worldwide.

In 2011, Hardy underwent 16 hours of surgery at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore to remove four tumors from her pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain that controls the release of cortisol.

Today, she is 100 pounds lighter, with the weight still rapidly coming off, and said she is determined to serve as a lifelong support and education source for her fellow “cushies” — others with Cushing’s disease.

Hardy will speak Saturday at the Johns Hopkins Pituitary Gland Center’s fifth annual Patient Education Day, an event to raise awareness about the disease, Wand said.

Since the pituitary gland is the size of a kidney bean, Hardy underwent several brain scans before doctors, who previously suggested she might have leukemia or needed to diet and exercise more, could tell there were tumors on her gland, she said.

Hardy’s experience with delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis is not unique, Wand said.

Cushing’s is a “subtle” disease, which is difficult to diagnose, and not everyone exhibits the same symptoms, he said.

If left untreated for more than a decade, the disease is fatal, but removing the pituitary gland tumors has proved extremely successful, Wand said.

“I’m evidence that there’s help out there,” Hardy said. “I can move. I can almost run. I can bend over and pick up a box. Oh my goodness, I can dance.”

From http://www.gazette.net/article/20130926/NEWS/130929354/1077/prince-george-x2019-s-woman-works-to-raise-awareness-about-rare&template=gazette

Corlux in the news again

Associated Press
10/13/09 8:10 AM PDT

MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Corcept Therapeutics Inc. said Tuesday it expects to raise about $18 million by selling stock and options to institutional investors.

Corcept said the money will be used to complete enrollment of patients in a late stage clinical trial of its drug candidate Corlux as a treatment for Cushing’s syndrome, and to cover the cost of filing for Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance.

The $18 million is a gross estimate and does not include expenses connected to the offering.

Corcept said it will sell 12.6 million units at $1.43 per share. The units will consist of one share of stock, and a warrant to buy 0.35 shares at an exercise price of $1.66 per share. Buyers include current Corcept investors such as Longitude Capital Management, Sutter Hill Ventures, Alta Partners and new investors including Federated Kaufmann Funds.

The sale is expected to close on Friday.

The company is testing Corlux as a treatment for Cushing’s syndrome and psychotic depression. Cushing’s syndrome occurs when the body produces to much of the hormone cortisol, or by overexposure to cortisol. Symptoms can include high blood sugar and blood pressure, fatigue, and weak muscles.

From http://www.sfexaminer.com/economy/ap/64084462.html

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