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ß-Endorphin in Multiple Trauma Victims

     R Guieu, C Devaux, J Albanese, C Martin, M Juin and H Rochat

Abstract:   Background: In animals and in humans, stress is known to be accompanied by increased ß-endorphin secretion. Methods: Blood samples from 47 patients in a state of stress induced by multiple trauma were assessed for ß-endorphin concentration by radioimmunoassays. Results: We show that there is a clearcut correlation (Spearman's R = 0.72, P = 2.1 x 10-6) between the level of consciousness evaluated with the Glasgow score and levels of circulating ß-endorphin. In addition, ß-endorphin levels are higher than normal in patients with Glasgow coma with scores higher than seven, and lower than normal in those with Glasgow coma scores of seven or less. Finally, in the complete absence of stress (shown by the lack of brain activity in six irreversible coma patients), there is a severe drop in the level of circulating ß-endorphin. Conclusion: ß-endorphin serum levels correlate with the state of consciousness of multiple trauma patients.

Can. J. Neurol. Sci. 1995; 22: 160-163


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