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Woman wants PTHP officially recognised by Scottish NHS

02nd November 2012

Her 31-year-old son, who sadly took his own life after battling depression, began suffering from the condition after sustaining a head injury aged seven.

He had fallen out of a tree as a boy, fracturing his skull and damaging his pituitary gland, which resulted in him developing depression later in life, and being impotent.

Despite the fact that many people are diagnosed with the illness in America, and in some European countries including Germany and Italy, PTHP has never been officially recognised in Britain. An official diagnosis may have helped the woman and her son seek suitable treatment for his condition.

Thousands of individuals suffer head injuries every year in the UK, and the charity Pituitary Foundation believes that approximately 30% of people who sustain severe head trauma may also sustain some pituitary damage. Furthermore, the organisation feels that this damage could even be caused as a result of a whiplash injury.

So far the mother, who has taken her cause to the Scottish Government, has received support from politicians, doctors, Time to Change ambassador Alastair Campbell, and pioneering scientist Sir David Lane.

Campbell stated, “I find it bizarre that PTHP has not been officially recognised as a condition which could be suffered by anyone who has a head injury. At the very least, anyone who could suffer from this should be tested to ensure they are given the appropriate care.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government is reported to have said, “SIGN [Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network] recognises that post-traumatic hypopituitarism is important, and a proposal to develop a separate guideline on this topic is currently being assessed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland.”

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