Fascinating that people around the world continue to identify and document signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders. Yet you just try this at your next GP appointment "I think I might have Graves because my signature has changed ..."
If hyperthyroidism impacts on handwriting, I am convinced that so too does hypothyroidism.
Thyroid. 2014 Apr 2. [Epub ahead of print]
THE IMPACT OF GRAVES' DISEASE AND ITS TREATMENT ON HANDWRITING CHARACTERISTICS.
Papi G Md1, Botti C, Corsello SM, Ciardullo AV, Pontecorvi A, Hegedus L.
1Catholic University of Rome, Chair of Endocrinology, Largo Gemelli 1, Rome, Italy, 00168, 3478896941 ; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background. Thyroid hormones are crucial for metabolism of all tissues in man, including the nervous system and the muscles, and could thus affect handwriting which is the synthesis of complex and fine movements. Hyperthyroidism, characterized by symptoms such as tremor and weakness, could affect handwriting although this has not been studied yet. The aim of this study was to evaluate handwriting characteristics before and after therapy of hyperthyroid Graves' disease (GD).
Methods. 22 patients (15 women, 7 men) with untreated GD (median age: 44 yrs; range: 20-70 yrs) were asked to write a "standard text" before and 12 months after being rendered euthyroid. The letters underwent a standardized detailed analysis by a handwriting expert, through inspection and stereoscopic microscope and magnifying glass.
Results. All patients demonstrated handwriting variations, perceptible even to direct observation. Graphological examination showed statistically significant changes after becoming euthyroid, in the following parameters: size of letters (4.5±1.1 vs 5.9±1.3 mm; P<0.01), distance between letters (62.9±1.1 vs 55.2±0.8; P<0.01), width of letters (1.75±0.06 vs 2.2±0.06 mm; P<0.01), distance between words (216.2±3.2 vs 198.7±2.4 mm; P<0.01), extension of letters (8.7±0.2 vs 7.7±0.2 mm; P<0.01), angles (17±0.3 vs 15.8±0.4; P<0.01), and groove depth (0.2±0.05 vs 0.4±0.05 mm; P<0.01).
Conclusions: Hyperthyroid GD was associated with significant changes in handwriting in all patients. Following recovery from hyperthyroidism, a state of hypertrophic and contracted handwriting resulted in greater fluency and fluidity. Variations in handwriting should be included as signs/symptoms in GD.
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Image is of the signature of 41st USA president George Bush who developed Graves.