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J Affect Disord. 2010 Feb;121(1-2):184-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jun 28.

Severe affective and behavioral dysregulation in youth is associated with increased serum TSH.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany.



The relationship of bipolar disorder (BD) and altered thyroid function is increasingly recognized. Recently, a behavioral phenotype of co-occurring deviance on the Anxious/Depressed (A/D), Attention Problems (AP), and Aggressive Behavior (AB) syndrome scales has been identified as the Child Behavior Checklist Dysregulation Profile (CBCL-DP), which itself has been linked to BD. This study tested for differences in thyroid function within a sample of n=114 psychiatric children and adolescents with and without the CBCL-DP.


A CBCL-DP score was generated based on the composite of the crucial CBCL syndrome scales (A/D, AP, AB). Participants with a CBCL-DP score >or=2.5 SDs above average constituted the CBCL-DP subgroup (n=53). Those with CBCL-DP scores of 1 SD or less above average percentile were regarded as controls (n=61). Groups were compared regarding serum levels of TSH, fT3 and fT4.


In participants showing the CBCL-DP, basal serum TSH was elevated compared to controls. More CBCL-DP subjects than controls showed subclinical hypothyroidism. No differences were observed for serum fT3 and fT4 levels.


This is the first study to demonstrate associations between CBCL-DP and subclinical hypothyroidism. Future research should address the long-term outcome of CBCL-DP with coexisting hypothyroidism, the potential benefits of supplementation with thyroid hormone, and the association between severe dysregulation and the bipolar spectrum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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