Growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 axis, leptin and sleep in anorexia nervosa patients.
ABSTRACT The present study characterizes the relationships between severe malnutrition, sleep, growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 (GH-IGF-1) axis, and leptin levels in anorexia nervosa (AN) patients before and after weight gain. Eleven restricting-type anorectic females (mean age = 19.7 years) with severe starvation state [mean body mass index (BMI) = 13.3] were studied using polysomnography and spectral power analysis. The hormone levels were measured in the morning after sleep recording. Eleven normal-weight, age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers without a history of any eating disorder served as controls. After nutritional treatment for about 2 months (65.7 +/- 6.4 days), sleep examinations and blood tests were repeated. At this stage, the study group consisted of 5 patients (mean BMI = 15.6). Higher IGF-1 and leptin levels were associated with longer and deeper sleep among anorectics. The sleep parameters including the percentages of stage 1 sleep and SWS as well as IGF-1 tended to normalize after only limited weight gain. Sleep disturbances in anorectics may be mediated through changes in the levels of the GH-IGF-1 axis hormones, as well as the levels of leptin.