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Thyroid hormones: Possible roles in epilepsy pathology

The abstract below raises some very interesting, and deeply concerning, issues.

It is yet another argument in favour of proper thyroid testing (not just TSH), especially in the very young.

It is yet another case of doctors/researchers other than endocrinologists seeming to be much more aware of the incredibly complicated interplay of thyroid hormone with, well, everything else.

Seizure. 2015 Sep;31:155-64. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2015.07.021. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Thyroid hormones: Possible roles in epilepsy pathology.

Tamijani SM1, Karimi B2, Amini E2, Golpich M2, Dargahi L3, Ali RA2, Ibrahim NM2, Mohamed Z4, Ghasemi R5, Ahmadiani A6.

Author information


Thyroid hormones (THs) l-thyroxine and l-triiodothyronine, primarily known as metabolism regulators, are tyrosine-derived hormones produced by the thyroid gland. They play an essential role in normal central nervous system development and physiological function. By binding to nuclear receptors and modulating gene expression, THs influence neuronal migration, differentiation, myelination, synaptogenesis and neurogenesis in developing and adult brains. Any uncorrected THs supply deficiency in early life may result in irreversible neurological and motor deficits. The development and function of GABAergic neurons as well as glutamatergic transmission are also affected by THs. Though the underlying molecular mechanisms still remain unknown, the effects of THs on inhibitory and excitatory neurons may affect brain seizure activity. The enduring predisposition of the brain to generate epileptic seizures leads to a complex chronic brain disorder known as epilepsy. Pathologically, epilepsy may be accompanied by mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and eventually dysregulation of excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurotransmission. Based on the latest evidence on the association between THs and epilepsy, we hypothesize that THs abnormalities may contribute to the pathogenesis of epilepsy. We also review gender differences and the presumed underlying mechanisms through which TH abnormalities may affect epilepsy here.

Copyright © 2015 British Epilepsy Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Brain development; Epileptogenesis; Hyperthyroidism; Hypothyroidism; Seizures; Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)



[PubMed - in process]

As so often, you can only see the abstract - the full paper is behind a steep paywall.


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This information is being sent from me personally and not in my capacity as an Admin of Thyroid UK. I am not a medical professional and this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical guidance from your own doctor. Please check with your personal physician before applying any of these recommendations.

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Thanks for posting Rod!



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Rod, your research links you post are a godsend. Thank you so much!

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