The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

Thyroid disorders difinition

The thyroid gland lies in the base of the neck and is responsible for producing various hormones the body needs for converting food to energy and for growth and development.

1. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, or deficiency in thyroid production, can cause mental deficiency, speech and hearing problems, motor problems, trouble regulating body temperature, dementia, sleep apnea, and psychosis (madness).

2. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, or overactivity of the thyroid gland, can cause tremor, nervousness, insomnia, decreased memory, impaired concentration, depression, and a range of other disorders.

Left untreated, either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can cause coma and death.

Thyroid disorders treatment

However, treatment to restore proper levels of thyroid hormone can reverse some or all of the symptoms. Thyroid hormones are especially critical during fetal and neonatal development; severe hypothyroidism can retard growth of neurons and connections in the brain, and this damage is often irreversible.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain