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J Neurol Sci. 2001 Feb 15;184(1):81-8.

Hyperthyroid dementia: clinicoradiological findings and response to treatment.

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Department of Neurology, Showa University School of Medicine, 1-5-8 Hatanodai, Shinagawa-ku 142-8666, Tokyo, Japan.


Dementia associated with hyperthyroidism is less well documented than is hypothyroid dementia. Therapeutic response of hyperthyroid dementia and associated cerebral circulatory and/or metabolic abnormalities has not been elucidated. We described a patient with hyperthyroid dementia and clinicoradiological response to treatment. Single photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) study was repeated and analyzed semiquantitatively. A 67-year-old man experienced progressive impairments of attention, memory, constructive skills and behavior as well as hand tremor and weight loss of two-year duration. Laboratory findings were compatible with Graves' disease. The initial SPECT showed diffuse tracer uptake defect with an accentuation in the bilateral temporoparietal regions. Clinical and SPECT findings both suggested concurrent "possible" Alzheimer's disease. However, initial treatment with a beta-blocker improved behavior and attention-related cognitive functions as well as tracer uptake in the frontal lobes. Subsequent treatment with additional methimazole then improved memory and constructive abilities when a euthyroid state was established. Uptake defect in the temporoparietal regions also responded gradually to the medication. We suggest that the present patient represent hyperthyroid dementia, which responds favorably to treatment with regard to clinical symptoms and SPECT findings. We also suggest that thyroid function be measured in patients with "possible" Alzheimer's disease because treatable hyperthyroid dementia may not be identified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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