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  • Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4262

    In preparation for our San Diego Patient & Family Conference June 14-17, we’ll be polling our online community regarding coping strategies.

    If we share your comment, we’ll use your screen name – unless you would prefer your post to be anonymous.

    Interested in attending the conference? Check out our sticky post or visit gdatf.org for details!

    Today’s question: Memory issues can sometimes persist even after thyroid levels are stabilized. What strategies do you use to remember critical to-dos? Or important appointments? (Not to mention actually bringing everything you need – like lab paperwork – to those appointments?)

    Liz1967
    Post count: 305

    Memory problems? I have not seen any literature nor do I know any rationale for Graves affecting memory? Source? Not somethng I have even thought about in connection with Graves nor have I experenced it. Are you speaking of side effect of methimazole or maybe from anxiety? Cannot figure out what would cause memory loss if not hypo, hyper or anxious.

    Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4262

    Dr. Ira Lesser with UCLA has made a number of presentations at past GDATF events on the emotional impact of Graves’ disease.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB8_5rbCso8&t=346s

    Although the actual research isn’t really robust, Dr. Lesser notes that many patients experience memory issues. (I’ve personally experienced this post-diagnosis, and from a recent Facebook poll that we did, many members of the Graves’ community have as well).

    I don’t believe the mechanism is well understood. In fact, Dr. Lesser noted that patients might really be experiencing *attention* issues – which would make recall problematic – as opposed to actual *memory* issues.

    The GDATF assisted with a patient survey on neuropsychiatric complaints of Graves’ disease patients that took place in the early 1990s and was updated a couple of years ago. Hopefully, the updated results will be published soon, but this was info on the older survey:

    https://www.gdatf.org/about/about-graves-disease/patient-education/neuropsychiatric-complaints-in-graves-patients/

    Liz1967
    Post count: 305

    As there does appear to be a correlation between the onset of Graves and stress, it stands to reason a diagnosis of Graves is definitely NOT going to alleviate the anxiety/stress that triggered the disease to begin with! As there is no mechanism of action (hormonal, neurochemical etc) to account for attention issues on the basis of Graves disease alone when euthyroid, and anxiety definitely causes memory issues, I could see the underlying anxiety being contributory.

    Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4262

    Memory is one of those issues (like difficulty losing weight or joint/tendon issues) where there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence from Graves’ patients, but there just isn’t good research to help us sort out “causation” vs. “correlation”.

    At the conference, we’ll be providing some suggestions for coping strategies for those who *are* experiencing memory issues. There certainly won’t be any assertion that Graves’ causes memory dysfunction or that everyone who has Graves’ has experienced memory issues.

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