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Old 12-05-2005, 11:54 AM   #1
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The link between hypothyroidism, alzheimer's disease and dementia...

I have heard of a connection between hypothyroidism, alzheimer's, and dementia, but I am not sure what the details are concerning this. I am curious if this could extend to Parkinson's disease (which seems to be quite similar to alzheimer's disease). My mother passed away at the young age of 53 from the effects of Parkinson's disease. Looking back, she had numerous symptoms of hypothyroidism for many years before she had any symptoms of Parkinson's disease. She had severe fatigue, depression, sleeping problems, very dry skin, her skin around her fingernails was always peeling back (like hangnails), she became hysterical from minor stressors, and she hardly reacted at all to positive things such as when I brought home straight A's. She also had difficulty with every single pregnancy: She miscarried one, had a stillbirth, had one born four months early which did not survive for more than a few hours, had 2 born premature which lived (I was born 2 months early, but had a collapsed lung, stayed in an incubator for awhile, etc.) I am not sure if her problems with pregnancies were due to hypothyroidism or incompetent cervix or what, though. My mother also wanted to grow long hair, but she could never get it to grow out. It just didn't seem to grow. Her hair also looked kind of straw-like, and it was either a dull color or had a lot of gray in it. At some point, I recall that her periods lasted forever and were very heavy. She used to say she bled for "forty days and forty nights"--referring to the time when Noah built the ark because of the flood. She ended up having a hysterectomy. She struggled with most of these hypothyroid symptoms for nearly all her life. She later developed Parkinson's disease in her early 40's and suffered from dementia, also. She looked like she was in her 80's or 90's when she turned 50. I know that longstanding hypothyroidism could upset brain chemistry. Does anyone know if hypothyroidism is related to Parkinson's disease? Also, if anyone has information how it is related to alzheimer's, that info could be helpful. Parkinson's is similar to alzheimer's in many ways, I believe. I did run across one study which noted that depression may in fact be the first symptom of Parkinson's because more people who had depression earlier in life developed Parkinson's later on... Hypothyroidism is a BIG factor in depression...Does anyone know anything?

I am trying to make sense out of all my mother's symptoms and the rest of our family history that suggests hypothyroidism is very prevelant among mom's side. (She is the only one with Parkinson's, though. My mother's mother had a known thyroid problem which caused her not to be able to sweat. Mom's sister has insulin-dependent diabetes, fibromyalgia, asthma, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, ice cold hands and feet, fatigue, depression, etc. My cousin has anxiety attacks. Many family members have trouble losing weight. I have numerous symptoms of hypothyroidism, too.) Could hypothyroidism manifest itself in different ways in my family and cause or contribute to different diseases? It seems we ALL have underlying hypothyroid symptoms before or with the diagnosis of other diseases. Oh, back to the Parkinson's question... Does anyone know about Parkinson's, alzheimer's, dementia, etc.? Thanks so much.

 
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