Alzheimer's and thyroid

I would like to know if anyone here has looked into what the connection is between Alzheimer's and thyroid, and come to any conclusion. I have noted various posts on this issue, e.g. at hypothyroidmom.com, but not answers. Initially, my thought was that lowered metabolism due to hypothyroid might be a causative factor, but I'm not satisfied with that as a sole cause.

I did find references to a study that concluded older women who have 1.0<TSH<2.1, are considerably less likely to end up with Alzheimer's. (UGH. Too bad the study used only TSH!) That TSH range corresponds to what Functional Medicine practitioners like. After thinking a while, it occurred to me that TSH in this range could be implying that this population has neither Graves autoimmunity, nor Hashimoto's autoimmunity. There are many autoimmune disorders, and I did discover there is even something called brain autoimmunity, which can be triggered by consuming gluten and/or dairy. And, it is known that diabetes is often autoimmune, and Alzheimer's has been called diabetes Type 3. So ... what do you folks think? Have you found evidence that thyroid is not a direct factor, and what should be thoroughly examined, is the number of autoimmune disorders which a patient is carrying around?

38 Replies

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  • I guess this is the study referred to:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

  • In all truthfulness, I do not know. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some connection to hypothroidism in that more notice is taken by the Professionals in the TSH result and many are 'happy' if the patient is somewhere in the range, instead of below 1 or lower. Rarely is a FT3 taken as it is believed (I think) that only TSH and T4 are necessary. Our brains contain the most T3 receptor cells and as T3 is the Active hormone do you think that our brains would suffer if it doesn't have the optimum of T3 it requires as well as the rest of our body?

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyro...

    Extract:

    BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

    Next, the present invention is described in detail.

    According to an aspect of the present invention, the present invention provides a preventive or therapeutic drug for Alzheimer-type dementia wherein an ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid is used in combination with a thyroid hormone.

    google.com/patents/US8461141

  • Thank you. That google article seems strange, though. I wasn't aware that it was possible to file for a patent on a combination of two natural substances, i.e. omega3+T4. It also seems strange that this patent specifies only omega3+T4, when omega3+NDT, or omega3+T3+T4, might be more effective, as you point out by mentioning T3.

  • There are many potentially relevant papers on PubMed. I'll post a link but, inevitably, many will be blind alleys.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?te...

  • I have come to the conclusion that a lot of what is diagnosed as altzheimers is lack of T3!

  • I read somewhere but can't remember where now that a test on dementia patients showed all were short of T3 but no mention of being given any! But logically as it's the brain that needs the most that does make sense!

  • It doesn't appear that the Endocrinology Associations are aware at all of the effect of T3 in our bodies, particularly the brain as they rarely check the FT3. Neither will they prescribe T3 as they insist levothyroxine is perfect and nothing else should be given to us. So it must be down to the 'remuneration' the Associations/doctors get from the pharmaceutical companies. (I am going to put up a post re what goes on in the Endocrinology).

  • Hi SHAWS

    Interesting articles, thanks for links

    So is this an argument that all hypo patients should always have T4 AND T3?

    Or if you convert ok is that good enough?

    I'd be interested in what you think

  • Bearing in mind I'm not medically qualified. I get a yearly blood test now that I'm well. My personal view is that if a patient isn't doing so well and complaining of clinical symptoms that the doctor should check Free T4 and Free T3 (different from T4 and T3).

    From this link you will see the explanation of both Frees and why they should be taken.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    Excerpt from above link:

    The Broda Barnes Foundation tell us "Dr Barnes found that the primary reason for the inaccuracy of the blood tests for thyroid function is that the thyroid hormones are not utilized in the blood, but are utilized intracellularly. Therefore a patient can have enough thyroid hormones circulating in the blood to give a "normal" reading, but if the hormones are not getting into the cells, the patient will be hypothyroid.

    Also, there is a problem of low blood volume in hypothyroid patients. This means that any blood test value will appear higher than it actually is because the patient has a lower than normal blood volume. In many patients with "normal" or "high" thyroid blood levels, but many clinical symptoms, the patient's blood levels actually drop lower once the patient is given thyroid hormones simply because their blood volume increases.

  • Chronic illnesses, undiagnosed in the UK, can cause inflammation that affects the brain. There can be numerous neurological symptoms as a result which can confuse doctors. This same inflammation can also disrupt every cell and every organ in the body. There is a large body of research and information about chronic illness (mostly from the USA, Germany, Italy) which is largely ignored in the UK. Jane x

  • If it's any help, my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 7/8 years ago. She had lots of tests, was under the lead specialist at Oxford University. However she was not tested for autoimmune thyroid of any sort. It was not until I was diagnosed with TPO antibodies that I let her dr know and she was tested also. She did indeed have hypothyroidism, but to look at her you wouldn't know, very slim! She is now treated for both Alzheimer's and thyroid but it's too late for her mind now if it was in fact hypothyroidism all along.

  • Starfish123

    I put a Like on your post to remind everyone to keep in mind that the same happened with my husband. He was diagnosed with having Hyperparathyroidism "way too late" so nothing could be done to reverse it. I believe that anyone who is at the very beginning of being forgetful; that left as such, will no doubt create frustration and will then become very agitated and angry "dementia" because he keeps forgetting how to speak and such... He should definitely be checked for parathyroid... This mean that the calcium he consumes does not go to where it supposed to go, eg., his bones, but will have a high blood calcium reading....Not a good thing.... The cure is simple surgery to remove the nodules or small tumours on the thyroid gland. Done early enough or even a bit late, his health could have in fact been reversed to his normal self. I believe this to be true for any thyroid probem such as hypothyroidism or other if it goes unchecked or untreated. I think it's way past time that big drug corporations should be stopped. Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Starfish,

    Hi, I'm so sorry about your mom.. I feel bad that she was not diagnosed earlier, but keep hoping. I was disagnosed after my doctor or back in about 1998 or so the "in" thing was "high cholesterol". My doctor wanted me to take, cholesterol pills, but I refused cause guess, I was lucky to have been studying cholesterol and discovered that if your cholesterol reads high it may be because you may have hypothyroidism... I told my doctor what I'd discovered and again, I was lucky that she had an opened mind. So I was checked for hypothyroidism and yes, I'd gained weight, dizzy, tired and on. She prescribed 100mcgs levothyroxine... I took to it like a fish in water and all my symptoms went away and I felt so much better too... and hey, I could then actually tell a story without forgetting what I was talking about. Hence, genealogy was so much more fun to do. ☺

  • My grandma had Alzheimer's and for many years she had freezing cold hands and feet. Perhaps she was hypothyroid. My mum got in touch with a professor in Oxford after being Ill with low B12 and bottom of range T3, both untreated by her GP. He said the recent trial suggests keeping high blood levels of B12 B6 and omega3 prevents brain shrinkage. She takes sublingual B12 now and other vits. She is 82 and feels the cold. So do I.

  • One of the papers offered at the top of this thread, is a patent application for a combination of omega-3 and T4. Peculiar!

    So is your mum using T3 along with her B's and omega-3?

  • My dad was having episodes of confusion and then became acutely confused and was rushed into hospital. He was diagnosed hypothyroid. Needing a starting dose of 200 mcg thyroxine . They and we thought dementia.

    My most prominent presenting symptom on diagnosis of hashimotos was my brain fogs. I worry now if it's start of dementia

  • It's is frightening but it shows we must stick together and fight for what we know. How many times have we read or even experienced the phrase it's not your thyroid it's something else and then we realise some of these 'new' problems are actually facets of what have been around for years. As a society we are frightened of dementia yet the signs have been there for years. I do wish I have kept my sources but I have mentioned this on ocassions but the medic around 1880 asking permission to test the inmates of an asylum as he thought some may have a thyroid problem and not lunatics. In fact the work lunatic came about because most of the sufferers were woman influenced by their msnstral cycle hence the luna part of the word. He did get permission and all but one had a thyroid problem in the approximate 60 tested. The one, In his opinion , was a lunatic the others responded to what we now call NDT. Sadly after being locked up for so long some had no one to administer the dose but many after a while where capable of taking the drug themselves es or had relatives who could help them with this. A remarkable story but it's happening again. And again we may be trying to keep them safe but the thought of trying alternative therapy is again being ignored and people's lives, not only the victims but also their loved ones are getting nowhere. A lot, I'm sure, is down to people who can't admit they have may be got it wrong. My gran had PA most of her life and ate raw liver for years before the injections came along but now I'm also older and thankfully wiser I suspect she also had a thyroid problem. Eventually she injection were stopped because of her age and we were told if she didn't she would die of a massive stroke but she did go on to die with that and imvexalso get stopping her injections was wrong.

    I have a really bad reaction to sulfonamides and I know the local Pharmacy flags up if I'm taking something I shouldn't but I also downloaded something myself that says if added something that is wrong. One day I got an urgent alert!! Had t added anything so looked more carefully. It was thyroxine so intrigue as to why this had happened! I had reached a milestone in my life. I was now classed as old!!! It was t saying I must stop but was suggesting the medical man should lower my dose!!! So is it any wonder that medics get twitchy. Medic know very little about research but they should be listening to the people that do. Compare them to vets. Ok at the moment we humans aren't legally out to sleep but no one is particukstlyvup in arms when our animal friends are. Yet vets are better at resolving thyroid problems in animals because they are able to experiment more freeing and are t under the same pressure as medics. I'm not suggesting bumping off great aunt because she is confused but that great aunt should be tested routinely and it it's found she has a problem that its treated properly and with dignity. May be the fact that many of us are searching and self medication will cause a fall in the number of dementia patients but the other worrying thing is will anyone realise why! Sorry this is such a long post but I feel she should all be pressing to be listened to to safeguard our own future for a start but to help others get proper testing that is then acted upon. Someone suggested years ago that routine thyroid tested should be done at 50 and may be retested 5 years later but it has to be the right tests as well.

  • ..... and then with the correct testing people who are able to interpret the results are also needed 😊

  • I sometimes wonder if there is a word to describe this syndrome: doctor runs a bunch of tests, but doesn't know what to do with the results!

  • NYT - New York Times ? - NO ... Not Your Thyroid - Usually Yes 😊

    Think TSH syndrome would suit also. Most of us would know the meaning ....

  • Your comments about a medic of 1880 treating mental patients, is mirrored in hypothyroidmom.com's posting about thyroid and mental illness. If you ever find your source, you could add it to her post!

  • Haven't a clue where I read it I'm afraid. Been hoping I would find it again for years. I've a feeling it was a newspaper article I read about the incident and if it actually said where it was I don't remember. I was more interested in the implications.

  • Hi Silverfox,

    I've just seen that you have the link to that story re the medic and the so-called lunatics.

    When watching the film Chaplin (starring Robert Downey Jr.) some years ago, I felt that many, if not all, were locked up in Bedlam and other mental asylums were probably locked up due to low Vit B12, Vit D, optimal thyroid levels, etc.

    🤓

  • Wish I had! Not very savvy saving stuff I'm afraid.

  • Silverfox, et al,

    When you watch Chaplin, The Homesman and other films about crazy or unstable people, remember that they and millions of others around the world could have been, and could be, helped by optimising Vitamins and Thyroid levels. Sad, but true.

    😕

  • Silver fox.

    Don't apologize, I enjoyed reading of your experiences and knowledge. It's about time we tell it like it is as simple should not create complications and more money for certain hogs...

  • Also I believe lack of B12 has a direct causal link, my Father in law is now suffering, and I firmly believe that they are actually both neglected by their doctor. Tests have been done and dementia has been agreed but the follow up is negligible. It's so frustrating.

  • No Eddie83 my mum was refused any medication by her GP and the private consultant. She was Emailing the professor in Oxford and he told her of the findings over 2 years ago. So she just takes B12 and other vitamins. It's awful, she spent 170 pounds on a private visit to the consultant too. But she has a clear and intelligent mind and no body aches so I suppose she has to live with the fatigue and swelling and weight gain. And count her blessings.

  • Have both of you decided that self-treatment is not an option?

  • Hi Eddie,

    I've previously posted on this forum about Prof. Dale Bredesen. His protocol for preventing and reversing Alzheimer's Disease &/or Dementia includes running several tests and maintains optimal results - including the thyroid panel.

    🤓

  • Unfortunately your previous post doesn't show up in a search! I suspect HealthUnlocked purges posts after only a few months. :(

  • Eddie83, HU does not purge posts at all - there are posts going back many years. The problem is that the search engine is useless!

    Try clicking on Londiniums name (in blue next to her avatar). That will take you to her profile where you can browse through all her previous posts.

  • Eddie,

    I've emailed the IT/Support of HealthUnlocked and informed them on many occasions that I cannot find my own Posts via their Search - not even when I use the actual words in my Post's title. The IT/Support made it clear that they do not consider it to be a priority. After 2-3 yrs of reminding them and presuming that they can in any of the 52 wks of the year, of any year, fix this issue, they still haven't done so. They're not interested. If I want to find my own Post, I am expected to trawl - every single time - through the whole damn lot. After all this time, you'd think they'd employ an IT person who'd fix the issue.

    😕

  • Thanks for the tip. In the future, if I just have to find something, I'll do a google search on site:healthunlocked.com.

  • Eddie,

    I also couldn't find it via that method... but here it is; I trawled through all of my posts - again - to find it and add something else. 😕

    healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

  • I am still thinking about self treatment Eddie83 but have yet to do the private blood test TSH antibodies and FT3 etc. in the new year I will take the plunge! My mum is older and at eighty three nearly, its a risk treating yourself for hypothyroidism. If it went wrong you could be in serious trouble.

  • I have a dementia that is a mix of Alzheimers and Hypothyroidal dementia which is caused by lack of the correct thyroid medication when my own thyroid failed and I nearly died because of the lack of knowledge by a Senior Endo in the area. I was ill for many years before I found the correct thyroid medication that works for me - just T3 and a fairly hefty dose- and my dementia improved dramatically for a while. Its been 11 years since my diagnosis of Dementia and my Dementia doctor is absolutely convinced that its linked to my thyroid treatment. I am still slowly going downhill and my memory is particularly poor but I'm still here and functioning despite it all! I am still getting my T3 on the NHS but I am in the process of transferring to Cytomel on NHS as the British T3 is too poor a quality to work for me now.

    Hypothyroidal Dementia is becoming increasingly recognised in Psychiatric fields but has yet to filter into the Endocrinology areas of medicine!

    Heather

  • Dementia and Endocrine:

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/270...

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