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Thyroid: Some problems with this condition are related to dementia

Thyroid: Some problems with this condition are related to dementia

According to a new study older people who have hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, they have more likely to develop dementia. Also, according to the findings, there is a greater increased risk for people with this condition but who need drugs that replace thyroid hormone. This condition occurs when the organ does not produce enough thyroid hormones.

This lack leads to multiple problems for our health such as slowed metabolism, fatigue, weight gain and increased sensitivity to cold. In some cases, thyroid disorders have been associated with symptoms of dementia that may be reversible with treatment. Although more studies are needed to confirm these findings, people should be aware of thyroid problems such as possible risk factor for dementia and therapies that could prevent or slow irreversible cognitive decline.

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Dementia, possible link found with thyroid problems

The study looked at about 7,000 people who developed dementia, comparing them to as many healthy people without any symptoms. The researchers looked to see who had a history of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism, which is also called an overactive thyroid, is when the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. This can increase the metabolism. Symptoms include involuntary weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat and nervousness or anxiety. A total of 102 people had hypothyroidism and 133 had hyperthyroidism. In this analysis the researchers they found no link between hyperthyroidism and dementia.

Of people with dementia, 0.9% had hypothyroidism, compared with 34 of people without dementia. When the researchers adjusted for other factors that could influence the risk of dementia, such as gender, age, high blood pressure, and diabetes, they found that people over the age of 65 with hypothyroidism were 80% more likely to develop dementia. For people under the age of 65, however, there was no link between hypothyroidism and dementia. In reverse people taking drugs for this condition were three times more likely to develop dementia.

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One explanation for this could be that these people are more likely to experience major symptoms from hypothyroidism where treatment was needed. Obviously the study does not prove that hypothyroidism is a consequence of dementia, but that there is only one correlation. There is also a limitation of the study, which is that the researchers were unable to know how severe this condition was in the participants.

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