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Old theory of bedwetting may be all wet.


Enuresis, or bedwetting, has historically been viewed as having a psychological basis. Results of a study announced by a Danish investigator, Dr. Jens Norgaard, demonstrated that 80-85 percent of his bedwetting cases in the past nine years were due to insufficient production of antidiuretic hormones (ADH). ADH production, which ordinarily increases during sleep, apparently remains unchanged during both day and night in bedwetters.

Therapy using a synthetic form of ADH (Desmopressin) eliminated bedwetting in 80 percent of children who received the drug. Of 29 children who participated in a four-week study, 20 had total elimination of bedwetting with administration of intra-nasal Desmopressin. Four others had a significant increase in dry nights. The average number of dry nights for a group of 21 children followed for six months increased from 2.2 to six nights per week.

An Illinois pediatrician, Dr. Kenneth Miller, reports similar results following a seven-year study. His work included gradually reducing the amount, and frequency of administration of Desmopressin. Using a protocol he had developed, 15 of 28 bedwetting children who had achieved dryness using the drug were weaned totally from the drug over time and remain dry.

Approved for use in Europe, the ADH substitute is being reviewed by the FDA for possible availability in the United States.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Aug 1, 1989
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