Purpose of review: Precocious puberty continues to elicit great interest and concern among medical practitioners, as well as the public.
Recent findings: Studies have elucidated neural regulation of puberty by kisspeptin, neurokinin B, and other factors. Cohort studies from the North America and Europe suggest that the age of thelarche may be earlier than determined 2 decades ago, and menarche may be slightly earlier, but the causes are unclear. Long-term outcomes of gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog therapy demonstrate increases in final height in the youngest treated patients, with no apparent adverse bone or reproductive consequences.
Summary: Although the appropriate threshold age of onset of central puberty remains uncertain, gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog therapy is well tolerated and effective in suppressing luteinizing hormone pulses and ovarian activity.