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Thyroid hormone: Influences on mood and cognition in adults

Maturitas. 2015 Mar 28. pii: S0378-5122(15)00606-4. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2015.03.016. [Epub ahead of print]

Thyroid hormone: Influences on mood and cognition in adults.

Ritchie M1, Yeap BB2.

Author information

1Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

2Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals, Perth, Western Australia, Australia; School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Electronic address:


The association of thyroid dysfunction with alterations in mood and cognition has been recognised since some of the earliest descriptions of thyroid disease. Over the years, researchers have aimed to further define these effects throughout the spectrum of thyroid disorders, to better understand the underlying condition and refine indications for treatment. More recently, attention has turned towards examining the impact of differences in thyroid hormones within the normal reference range, particularly in older adults, providing new insights into the association of thyroid hormone with cognitive decline. This review summarises the evidence assessing the influence of thyroid hormone on mood and cognition in overt and subclinical hypothyroidism, within the reference range, and in subclinical and overt hyperthyroidism. Treatment of overt thyroid dysfunction largely resolves associated disturbances in mood and cognitive dysfunction, however in the setting of overt hypothyroidism subtle detrimental effects on cognition may not be fully reversed. Subclinical hyperthyroidism and higher free thyroxine (FT4) within the normal range have been associated with poorer cognitive outcomes. Future research including randomised controlled trials are required to confirm causality and guide the assessment of benefits vs risks of intervention in the increasing population of older adults with subclinical thyroid disease.


Cognition; Free thyroxine; Hyperthyroidism; Hypothyroidism; Mood; Subclinical

PMID: 25896972 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

7 Replies

Shame they don't define precisely what they mean by 'older'.

1 like

Thanks Rod, a good article.

The link for the free full PDF. PR


We seem to have so many papers in the "could be interesting" to "excellent" categories. But seemingly almost zero transfer from those papers to clinical practice - especially at the ordinary "simple" hypo patient treated by a GP level.


Yes, you're right but what's worse are the 'Associations' who are 'supposed' to be the knowledgeable experts.


shaws, actually they have done studies about the quality of the practice standards put forth by the professional associations and they are known to be terrible with out of date science. PR


It's awful really and many people have their health/families destroyed.


I have picked out an article in my local newspaper yesterday headed "Dementia matters"! and reads as follows;- "Most types of dementia are progressive and cannot be cured. However, there are some exceptions when symptoms are caused by vitamin and thyroid hormone deficiencies". I read the article as it is dear to me due to the fact that I lost my Mum a year ago this month to Altzeimers. I read more and more about cognitive problems, re the article above and aging etc. Are they finally now realizing the connection and the importance of thyroid health and mood etc. I know this as I have suffered with low mood/depression for 20 years. When are they going to fit all the pieces into the jigsaw?


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