Neurogenic diabetes insipidus is also known as central diabetes insipidus and is the most common type of this disease. Symptoms are causes by the lack of a hormone that normally acts upon the kidneys to reduce urine output, this results in symptoms that include excessive urination.
Neurogenic diabetes insipidus (DI) is caused by a decrease in the production, storage or delivery of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), also know as arginine vasopressin (AVP). This hormone's job is to limit the amount of urine produced by causing less water to be lost through urination.
ADH is produced in the hypothalamus of the brain and stored in the pituitary gland until needed. In neurogenic DI, ADH is not available in sufficient amounts.
This lack of ADH " may be caused by damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. This damage may be related to surgery, infection, inflammation, tumor, or injury to the head "(1). In some cases the cause is unknown and in rare cases a genetic defect may be at fault.
Symptoms of neurogenic DI include:
You should consult with your doctor if any of the symptoms of diabetes insipidus are noticed.
The disease is diagnosed by the following tests:
Treatment and outcome will depend on the underlying condition that caused the diabetes insipidus. Many patients can be helped with the prescription of a synthetic hormone called desmopressin, which replaces the lack of natural ADH and helps reduce urine output. This drug is delivered as a nasal spray, oral drug or injection.
In mild cases, increasing water intake may be all that is needed to control the condition. If the thirst mechanism located in the hypothalamus is not working, your doctor may prescribe a daily water intake (usually 2 – 2.5 liters per day) to avoid dehydration.
(1) MedlinePlus (2010). Diabetes insipidus-central. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000460.htm