Changes in pituitary function with ageing and implications for patient care

Johannes D Veldhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pituitary gland has a role in puberty, reproduction, stress-adaptive responses, sodium and water balance, uterine contractions, lactation, thyroid function, growth, body composition and skin pigmentation. Ageing is marked by initially subtle erosion of physiological signalling mechanisms, resulting in lower incremental secretory-burst amplitude, more disorderly patterns of pituitary hormone release and blunted 24 h rhythmic secretion. Almost all pituitary hormones are altered by ageing in humans, often in a manner dependent on sex, body composition, stress, comorbidity, intercurrent illness, medication use, physical frailty, caloric intake, immune status, level of exercise, and neurocognitive decline. The aim of this article is to critically discuss the mechanisms mediating clinical facets of changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary axis during ageing, and the extent to which confounding factors operate to obscure ageing-related effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-215
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Endocrinology
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

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Pituitary Hormones
Body Composition
Patient Care
Skin Pigmentation
Uterine Contraction
Pituitary Gland
Puberty
Energy Intake
Lactation
Reproduction
Comorbidity
Thyroid Gland
Sodium
Water
Growth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Changes in pituitary function with ageing and implications for patient care. / Veldhuis, Johannes D.

In: Nature Reviews Endocrinology, Vol. 9, No. 4, 04.2013, p. 205-215.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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