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Elżbieta Zych-Twardowska, Andrzej Wajgt
Med Sci Monit 1999; 5(2): CR216-220
Multiple sclerosis is considered to be a multifactoral disorder, with genetic, autoimmune, and environmental components. A few studies have indicated an influence of endocrine abnormalities on the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, and effect of demyelinization and therapy on hormonal system in this disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate endocrine function in patients with multiple sclerosis by an analysis of selected pituitary and sex hormones in blood. The study group consisted of 49 patients with multiple sclerosis, comprising 25 menstruating women, 6 postmenopausal women and 18 men. The pituitary-gonadal axis examination demonstrated normal serum concentration of gonadotropins and testosterone in women and men with multiple sclerosis, but we found raised serum concentration of estradiol in men with multiple sclerosis. There was statistically significant difference between multiple sclerosis and normal subjects. Our results confirm that hyperprolactinaemia frequently occurs in multiple sclerosis, especially in menstruating women and in men with multiple sclerosis. The results of this study suggest prevalence of hormonal disturbance in patients with multiple sclerosis, with regard to hyperprolactinaemia. In men with multiple sclerosis hyperprolactinaemia was associated with raised serum concentration of estradiol. Alterations in endocrine system in patients with multiple sclerosis may have essential significance for better understanding of etiopathogenesis and the course of disease. Presence of hormonal disturbances in these patients may be an indication for modifying the therapeutic proceeding.