Antibodies in autoimmune thyroiditis affect glucose metabolism of anterior cingulate

Antibodies in autoimmune thyroiditis affect glucose metabolism of anterior cingulate

One of the mysteries of autoimmune thyroid disease is that we know little of the actual effects of thyroid antibodies - in this case, Thyroglobulin antibodies (TGab). This paper reveals an observation that those with TGab have objectively measurable differences to others.

Maybe at last it will cease to be possible for medics to claim that all hypothyroidism is the same, that antibodies don't matter, that there is no reason tocheck both TGab and TPOab?

Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Dec 20. pii: S0889-1591(13)00598-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2013.12.013. [Epub ahead of print]

Antibodies in autoimmune thyroiditis affect glucose metabolism of anterior cingulate.

Pilhatsch M, Schlagenhauf F, Silverman D, Berman S, London ED5, Martinez D, Whybrow P, Bauer M.



Hypothyroidism induced by an autoimmune process is associated with neuropsychiatric symptoms and metabolic abnormalities in the brain. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between autoimmune thyroiditis and regional brain function in hypothyroid patients.


Cerebral glucose metabolism, as an index of brain function, was assessed in regional whole-brain analyses using positron emission tomography (PET) and [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose in thirteen hypothyroid patients with autoimmune thyroiditis suffering from neuropsychiatric symptoms. The primary biological measures were radioactivity in pre-selected brain regions, relative to whole-brain radioactivity, as a surrogate index of glucose metabolism, and serum levels of thyroglobulin (TG) and thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies as endocrine markers of autoimmune thyroiditis.


Serum levels of anti-TG antibodies in hypothyroid patients were significantly correlated with glucose metabolism in the perigenual anterior cingulate cortex, a brain region previously shown to regulate affect and emotional homeostasis.


Thyroid autoimmune processes may play an important role in the still poorly defined pathogenic correlates of disturbed function in brain regions critically involved in emotional processing in hypothyroid conditions.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Autoimmunity, Brain activity, Hypothyroidism, Neuropsychiatry, PET, Thyroid antibodies, Thyroiditis




Image: Saggital slice with highlighting indicating location of cingulate cortex. 8 September 2011 Geoff B Hall

13 Replies

  • Yep I'm emotional.. but hey It's Christmas!

    It is scary how they found out which bit of the brain does what, don't google it! OK google sparerib's brain - you won't find anything ho ho! :D xx

  • Rod just in case you try

  • I get loads of recipes!

    Have a look here:


  • you're weird

  • which is strangely quite reassuring

  • And you are sepia!

  • well, I'd hate to be 'normal' - so boring!

  • of course spareribs (or liver) are complimented with fava beans a little Chianti - nom nom!

  • Very interesting article. Thank you

  • So, is brain/emotional dysfunction in hypothroidism caused by TGab or does brain/emotional dysfunction result in TGab? My little grey cells are struggling after yesterday's excesses :)

  • My take is that they think the TGab actually cause of brain/emotional dysfunction (or are at least a part of the cause). I could be wrong. Or they could be! :-)


  • :-D

  • Of course, many, many people with over-range TGab are likely also to have inadequate thyroid hormone levels - not surely how carefully they took that into account.

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