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  • Anonymous
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      Memory is a problem for many people with Grave’s disease, whether they are hyper, hypo, or sometimes recently euthyroid. The major reason for memory problems in hyper people are because of two things. 1) tyrosine is an amino acid that is required for memory impulses. It is considered a neurotransmitter presursor. It is a direct precursor to the neurotransitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Neurotransmitters allow nerve cells in the brain to exchange messages. When people are hyper, excess amounts of tyrosine are required to “mate” with iodine to form a component required for creation of T4. This reduces the amount of tyrosine available to the brain, and in turn reduces the amount of those neurotransmitters that are synthesised from tyrosine. 2) increased blood flow, and in turn nutrients and required substances, to the brain increases brain functioning. Now you have increased brain function, but a lack of required neurotransmitters. This causes “synapse signal gapping” where only bits of the information is transmitted to memory storage areas. Also other brain functions are affected such as concentration, accurate thinking, and sometimes mathematical and numerical recognition.
      Now for hypo people, the same is true but to a different effect and different circumstances. The functioning of the brain is reduced because of lack of circulation thyroid hormone and reduced blood flow, but (sometimes) also the body reduces its production of tyrosine because not as much is required for synthesis to iodine. Sometimes this leads to a lack of tyrosine to the brain again.
      Memory loss is less associated with tyrosine in hypo patients than in hyper patients, and memory loss is less associated with blood flow in hyper patients than hypo.
      When people get euthyroid, it usually takes some time for the body to reach balance, and memory problems may persist. But usually normal brain function will return.
      The problem with tyrosine, and neurotransmitters, is a major reason for depression in both cases, also.

      Hope this will be of help to you (and everyone).


      PS- for people who are experiencing these problems, a tyrosine and/or St. John’s wort supplement could be very useful. For those that are hypo, a low level of anti-depressant medication could also help with the overall condition because it blocks the uptake of serotonin (in other words, it allows serotonin to continue to circulate before it is “recycled”. Serotonin can ‘act’ like other neurotransmitters and take up the some of slack for the other missing neurotransmitters. Check with your doctors about these possibilities.

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