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Alzheimer's and the Thyroid Revisited

Posted Mar 13 2010 11:22am
Experiencing forgetfulness, weight gain, depression, dry skin, intolerance to cold, muscle aches, or fatigue? You could be suffering from hypothyroidism.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Kerry Runyeon wrote about how as a part of pre-screening testing for an Alzheimer's clinical trial her mother was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. After the introduction of thyroid medication her score on the MMSE rose from 10 to 12. It would be interesting to know if her scores went up on better, more reliable memory tests.

I first wrote about Alzheimer's and the thyroid in 2008. I was fortunate because I received a pre-publication copy of The Alzheimer's Action Plan: The Experts' Guide to the Best Diagnosis and Treatment for Memory Problems. This book is my bible when it comes to Alzheimer's disease.

Here is what I read on page 82 -- The Less Than Trusty Thyroid.

I'll challenge you right here and now. Send this article to everyone you know -- especially woman. All you need to do is click the share button at the top of this article and click email and you will be on your way. You don't need to limit your email to Alzheimer's caregivers. This problem is pervasive in adults over 60. Most of them don't know about hypothyroidism.

As far as I know, doctors do not routinely check the thyroid when they order blood tests. The blood test for hypothyroidism is not part of the standard blood test panel. The doctor needs to check the box for this test. The test is inexpensive and is an add on to the standard blood test.

In the past two years, I wrote about this issue -- hypothyroidism -- over and over. I have received emails from people thanking me. They paid attention, mentioned the article to their doctor, and received the test. The diagnosis and the medication changed their live -- Dramatically.

I wrote about Rose Lamatt and her long trip to a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. I included her description -- Thyroid and Alzheimer's, Rose's Real Life Story. Very informative.

And, an amazing story on hypothyroidism -- Alzheimer's and the Thyroid, He Came Back to Life. This one is about a man that was not communicating in any way. The doctor specialists wanted to shock his brain. Fortunately, our own wonderful doctor, Dr. Carlos Chiriboga, was also his personal care physician. Instead of signing off on the electric shock, he prescribed thyroid medication. The man came back to life.

When hypothyroidism isn't treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid. In addition, you may become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow or you may feel depressed.

Its up to the readers. This is a good opportunity as a reader to make an important difference in someone's life. If enough readers use the share button to email their family and friends, I feel confident in saying sooner or later one of you will be emailing me with a new story on hypothyroidism.

Better story, its not Alzheimer's, it was the thyroid. Now that would be something.

Also see Is it Really Alzheimer's or Something Else?

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More About the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,200 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room

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