Glucose tolerance tests have been performed on five patients with Huntington's chorea and no difference in response has been observed compared with seven controls. Insulin tolerance tests have been performed on 12 patients with Huntington's chorea and 10 controls. Blood samples were taken at regular intervals for 75 minutes and analysed for blood glucose, insulin, and growth hormone (HGH). There was no difference between the groups in the hypoglycaemia which developed. The patients, however, had an earlier elevation of HGH than the controls. The difference was highly significant (P less than 0.001, P less than 0.02) 30 and 35 minutes after the intravenous injection of insulin. The patients, although awake, ceased to have choreiform movements for at least the last 60 minutes of the insulin tolerance tests. Our observations of HGH release imply that hypothalamic activity is altered in Huntington's chorea. Further observations of HGH release may therefore be of value in its diagnosis.
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