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In Vivo. 2006 Mar-Apr;20(2):293-300.

Interrelationship of hepatic function, thyroid activity and mood status in alcohol-dependent individuals.

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Department of Psychiatry, Eginition Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece.



Alcohol-induced changes in thyroid function may contribute to the development of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety that almost invariably coexist in alcohol-dependent individuals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the severity of liver dysfunction and thyroid activity in correlation with anxiety and depressive-like symptomatology before and after a detoxification period.


In a sample of 100 alcohol-abusing/dependent subjects treated on an in-patient basis according to a standard detoxification protocol, measurements of the serum levels of hepatic enzymes (ASAT, ALAT, gammaGT) and thyroid hormones (T3, T4, TSH) as well as measures of anxiety, depression and global functioning were obtained at baseline and at weekly intervals over the period of 4-5 weeks.


After completion of the alcohol detoxification, most measurements returned to normal levels and correlations were observed between the levels of hepatic enzymes and thyroid hormones. Additionally, a significant correlation was obtained between the levels of thyroid hormones and the mood status scales.


Our results indicated a dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis in alcohol dependence with possible implications in the diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders associated with alcohol abuse.

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