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April 1979

Endocrinologic Regulation of Carbohydrate Metabolism: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Parkinsonism-Dementia on Guam

Arch Neurol. 1979;36(4):217-220. doi:10.1001/archneur.1979.00500400071011

• Studies of the endocrinologic control of carbohydrate metabolism were conducted in Guamanians with parkinsonism-dementia (PD) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and in Guamanian control patients who had various other neuromuscular disorders. Intravenously infused arginine tended to produce a more prolonged elevation in serum glucose levels in PD and ALS patients than in control subjects. On the other hand, the serum insulin response to arginine was significantly less in both PD and ALS patients than in controls. Arginine stimulated the release of growth hormone to a similar degree in all three patient groups. These observations support and extend previous reports of endocrinologic abnormalities in parkinsonism and ALS and might suggest that a defect in pancreatic islet cell function attends these disorders.