Neuropsychological Symptoms

Graves is scary and it's easy to start thinking about a lot of stuff that may or may not happen. Please keep in mind that not every person will experience the same symptoms nor will they have the same severity of symptoms. It's unusual for a person to continue developing symptoms after diagnosed and under a doctor's care. The information provided helps to understand why you may feel the way you do but it does not mean that you will ever experience any of the symptoms.

The Important Role of the Thyroid by Dr. Oz
Video from the Dr. Oz Show that explains how the brain and the thyroid send signals back and forth. It explains in very simple terms how the thyroid affects the brain.

"What is wrong with me? I am not myself anymore"
Although they reported that their functioning did improve somewhat once they received treatment for their Graves, it was still much worse when compared to how they were functioning prior to the onset of their Graves symptoms. This may indicate that many patients with Graves disease do not feel that they return to their baseline level of functioning even after treatment returns their thyroid hormone levels to the normal range. Article written by: Jessica Somerville Ruffolo, M.A. and Robert A. Stern, Ph.D.

Neuropsychology of Endocrine Disorders
"Specifically, Graves disease appears to be associated with greater impairment in attention, including the ability to sustain attention and inhibit behaviors. Problems with memory also have been noted based both on the administration of memory tests and self-reports of impairment. This suggests that individuals with Graves disease are likely to require more time and effort in order to learn and consolidate new information. Planning and organizational skills also are affected in these individuals, which can result in a work product that is less well developed than should be the case."

Frontal lobe proton magnetic-resonance spectroscopy in Graves' disease: a pilot study.
Patients with hyperthyroidism may show impaired performance on several neuropsychological tests that require complex visual discrimination, conceptualization, mental flexibility or organization.

The #1 Reason You're Exhausted!
Video from the Dr. Oz Show explaining the importance of Magnesium.

A Survey Study of Neuropsychiatric Complaints in Patients with Graves' Disease

One hundred thirty-seven patients with treated Graves' disease completed a questionnaire pertaining to neuropsychiatric complaints. Psychiatric symptoms, especially anxiety and irritability, were common prior to treatment of hyperthyroidism. These complaints appeared to result in delays in seeking treatment as well as delays in receiving appropriate diagnosis. Subjects reported significantly worse memory, attention, planning, and productivity while hyperthyroid than prior to becoming hyperthyroid, and, although somewhat improved once euthyroid, they reported residual cognitive deficits. These results suggest that neuropsychiatric impairments are highly prevalent in Graves' disease, may lead to initial misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis of the endocrine disorder, and may continue even once patients are believed to be euthyroid. Also see the Abstract by PubMed.

The thyroid function of Graves' disease patients is aggravated by depressive personality during antithyroid drug treatment
"Conclusion: The data indicate that in GD patients treated with ATD, depressive personality during treatment reflects the effect of emotional stress more than that of thyrotoxicosis and that it aggravates hyperthyroidism. Psychosomatic therapeutic approaches including antipsychiatric drugs and/or psychotherapy appears to be useful for improving the prognosis of hyperthyroidism."

Mood and anxiety disorders in women with treated hyperthyroidism and ophthalmopathy caused by Graves' disease.
"Conclusions: These results confirm a high prevalence of mood and anxiety disorders in women with treated hyperthyroidism and ophthalmopathy caused by Graves' disease. Hyperthyroidism plays a major role in psychiatric morbidity in Graves' disease."