Plasma growth hormone response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in infantile autism: a pilot study

J Autism Dev Disord. 1986 Mar;16(1):59-68. doi: 10.1007/BF01531578.


Plasma growth hormone responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were examined in eight preschool-age autistic children. Six of these children were examined on two separate occasions: during the period of baseline evaluation and after 4 weeks of daily haloperidol administration. On at least one occasion, half of this small sample exhibited persistent elevation of growth hormone levels, with a failure to return to baseline values over the course of a 135-minute period postinsulin infusion. These data are consistent with the occurrence of hypothalamic dysfunction in subgroups of autistic children. Short-term administration of haloperidol did not diminish the ability of the pituitary to secrete growth hormone in response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / blood*
  • Autistic Disorder / drug therapy
  • Autistic Disorder / physiopathology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Haloperidol / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemia / chemically induced
  • Hypothalamus / physiopathology
  • Insulin
  • Male
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / physiology
  • Pilot Projects


  • Insulin
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Growth Hormone
  • Haloperidol