Historical evidence from authorities as ancient as Aristotle suggests that the normal age of onset of puberty in modern times is earlier than in previous periods. Tanner has shown that in Western Europe during the last two centuries the age of menarche decreased by about four months each decade, but in the U.S. and Western Europe in the latter half of this century the secular trend has ceased and puberty occurs between 8 and 13 years of age in girls, and between 9 and 14 years of age in boys. Pubertal development occurring before these age ranges is considered precocious. Sexual precocity may be true or complete precocious puberty due to central nervous system causes, or may be incomplete precocious puberty due to autonomous sex steroid or gonadotropin production without the regulation by the central nervous system 'gonadostat.' This discussion will focus upon our new knowledge of the physiology of normal puberty and the way these findings have been used to understand the etiology of precocious puberty and to design new types of therapy for this condition.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - 1987|
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