Study suggests the condition may be more likely to develop in older people with underactive thyroid.
Older people with hypothyroidism may be at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study—and the risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones, which can slow metabolism. Symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold.
“In some cases, thyroid disorders have been associated with dementia symptoms that can be reversible with treatment,” says lead study author Chien-Hsiang Weng, MD, MPH, a clinical assistant professor of family medicine. “While more studies are needed to confirm these findings, people should be aware of thyroid problems as a possible risk factor for dementia as well as of available therapies that could prevent or slow irreversible cognitive decline.”