Building on the seminal work by Geoffrey Harris in the 1970s, the neuroendocrinology field, having undergone spectacular growth, has endeavored to understand the mechanisms of hormonal connectivity between the brain and the rest of the body. Given the fundamental role of the brain in the orchestration of endocrine processes through interactions among neurohormones, it is thus not surprising that the structural and/or functional alterations following traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to endocrine changes affecting the whole organism. Taking into account that systemic hormones also act on the brain, modifying its structure and biochemistry, and can acutely and chronically affect several neurophysiological endpoints, the question is to what extent preexisting endocrine dysfunction may set the stage for an adverse outcome after TBI. In this review, we provide an overview of some aspects of three common metabolic endocrinopathies, e.g., diabetes mellitus, obesity, and thyroid dysfunction, and how these could be triggered by TBI. In addition, we discuss how the complex endocrine networks are woven into the responses to sudden changes after TBI, as well as some of the potential mechanisms that, separately or synergistically, can influence outcomes after TBI.
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