Why might too much thyroid hormone be associated with dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports


If you’re in your sixties and are being told you need to take thyroid hormone, this medicine might put you at risk to develop dementia, a Johns Hopkins study shows. Jennifer Mammen, one of the study’s authors and an endrocrinologist, says more of the related factors need to be teased out.

Mammen: Maybe the people who are being overtreated with thyroid hormone or the people who are sicker are more at risk of having cognitive dysfunction to begin with, and so in the 65,000 person data set people who have hyperthyroidism thyrotoxicosis either from excess thyroid hormone from natural causes or from being given too much thyroid hormone did have an increased incidence of cognitive disorders, diagnosed by their primary care doctors or by going to a specialty center.    :32

Mammen notes it’s important to confirm this diagnosis with a specialist. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.