The growth hormone (hGH) and prolactin (hPRL) responses to oral bromocriptine were studied in two groups of patients with Huntington's chorea and in seven healthy control subjects. The patients included six patients who had previously been treated with phenothiazines and six patients who had not received phenothiazine treatment. All medication was stopped 72 hours before the investigation which involved taking blood samples for up to 210 minutes after taking bromocriptine (2.5 mg). Plasma samples were analysed for hGH and hPRL. There was no significant difference in basal hGH concentrations between the patients and control subjects. The hGH response to bromocriptine varied in the individual patients but the concentrations were significantly lower in the patients compared with the controls between 160 and 210 minutes. The basal concentrations of hPRL were also not different, apart from the findings of elevated hPRL concentrations in three patients previously treated with phenothiazines. The patients and control subjects showed a consistent fall in hPRL concentrations after taking bromocriptine. The lower peak hGH response to bromocriptine found in the patients suggests that there may be an alteration of dopaminergic neurones mediating hGH release.
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