With more than a decade of experience as an accomplished surgeon-scientist, Karim Sarhane, MD, is a physician who performs complex surgeries that address conditions such as nerve injuries. In the paper “Growth Hormone Therapy Accelerates Axonal Regeneration, Promotes Motor Reinnervation, and Reduces Muscle Atrophy following Peripheral Nerve Injury,” co-author Karim Sarhane, MD, explored an area in which research was largely lacking. In cases where peripheral nerve injury remains untreated, the prolonged denervation of Schwann cells and muscle can result in permanent nerve damage. The study evaluated growth hormone therapy’s impact in promoting axonal regeneration and maintenance of the target muscle and sensory end organs. The rats in the study underwent femoral nerve transection without repair, as well as sciatic nerve transection with repair. The control group received no treatment, while the other rats were provided with subcutaneous growth hormone on a daily basis. After five weeks, axonal regeneration of the sciatic nerve was assessed, as was muscle atrophy of the gastrocnemius muscle. In addition, Schwann cell proliferation in the denervated distal femoral nerve and motor endplate reinnervation in the soleus muscle were evaluated. The results showed that growth hormone-treated rats had a greater body mass percentage increase, greater cross-sectional muscle myofibril area, superior motor endplate reinnervation, and a greater number of myelinated axons regenerating. The bottom line is that growth hormone therapy seems to have a positive effect in preventing muscle atrophy and helping restore motor function.
Karim Sarhane, MD