Cushings Syndrome

Cushing's syndrome refers to hypercortisolemia resulting from multiple etiologies, including pituitary and adrenocortical tumors. Treatment for Cushing's syndrome consists of transsphenoidal surgery, radiation, and pharmacological inhibition of adrenal function (Aron et al. 2004). Brain atrophy and impairments in cognition and memory are often observed in adults with Cushing's syndrome (Belanoff et al. 2001; Starkman et al. 2001). The majority of men and women with Cushing's syndrome also experience depressive symptoms, irritability, and insomnia (Arnaldi et al. 2003; Starkman et al. 1981). These cognitive and affective symptoms are ameliorated to varying degrees following reversal of hypercortisolemia (Bourdeau et al. 2002; Dorn et al. 1997; Forget et al. 2002; Kelly et al. 1996). In children, obses sive-compulsive behavior is also associated with Cushing's syndrome (Magiakou et al. 1994). Unlike in adults with Cushing's syndrome, cognitive function declines following therapy for hypercortisolemia in children with Cushing's syndrome (Merke et al. 2005; Sonino and Fava 2001).

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