Monday, June 6, 2011

Hashimoto's Encephalopathy Mimics Alzheimer's Disease

Slow cognitive decline is common in those with Down syndrome who are untreated. But, if your loved one is experiencing a rapid progressive cognitive decline, you may want to look into Hashimoto's Encephalopathy as the culprit. The following study states that it can often be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's or Dementia when in fact it is actually Hashimoto's Encephalopathy (different than Hashimoto's Thyroiditis). After treatment with steroids, the patients in the study recovered their skills back to where they were before. If suspected, you should look at the tests mentioned in this study that need to be done to get a correct diagnosis.

Hashimoto Encephalopathy and Down Syndrome A Brodtmann - 2009 -
Hashimoto Encephalopathy and Down Syndrome. Amy Brodtmann, MD, PhD.

What is Hashimoto Encephalopathy?
by Mary Shomon

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the autoimmune thyroid disease that is the most common cause of hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid. A very rare condition associated with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is Hashimoto's Encephalopathy, a neuroendocrine disorder. Much like the antibodies in Hashimoto's Thyroiditis attack the thyroid, in Hashimoto's Encephalopathy, antibodies attack neurons in the brain. While Hashimoto's Encephalopathy is quite rare (there may only be several dozen diagnosed patients in the U.S.) it is also likely that there are many more undiagnosed sufferers. Because it is little known and its symptoms are primarily neurological, it is easy to misdiagnosis or overlook and the symptoms frequently lead to mistaken neurological diagnoses.

Some of the most common symptoms of Hashimoto's Encephalopathy include: disorientation, psychosis, tremors, concentration and memory problems, jerks in the muscles and lack of coordination, headaches, partial paralysis on the right side, and speech problems. Sometimes, patients are mistakenly diagnosed as having had a stroke, or having Alzeimer's. Typically, Hashimoto's antibodies levels will be high, and the patient may also have a diagnosable case of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, but TSH levels may also be normal.

The condition can also appear in adolescents, but is even more likely to be overlooked. The symptoms in adolescents, unlike adults, frequently include seizures, confusion and hallucinations. A drop in school performance is also a common symptom, along with progressive cognitive decline. Thyroid autoantibody levels should be evaluated in these adolescents with these symptoms, even when thyroid function tests are normal. (Distinct Pediatric Manifestations of Hashimoto's Encephalopathy Described)

The primary treatment for Hashimoto's Encephalopathy is oral corticosteroid drugs - for example, Prednisone. While Hashimoto's Encephalopathy is a relapsing condition, the use of oral corticosteroids can keep the condition manageable for many patients.

Beverly Seminara
, an international Hashimoto's Encephalopathy patient advocate, has researched the subject extensively on her own behalf, and has put her information together to share with other patients and practitioners. She has written the internet's only detailed patient-oriented overview of Hashimoto's Encephalopathy, located at: Hashimoto's Encephalopathy: A Neuroendocrine Disorder. Seminara has created a singular resource for patients and practitioners: Hashimoto's Encephalopathy - A Complete List of Published Case Studies.
Beverly Seminara's Website for Patients and Practitioners

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Rose said...

I've been through several bottles of bovine thyroid that I bought from Nutri-Meds in January of 2009. The rest I bought somewhere else. It definitely helps.

Trailrunnergirlygirl said...

My daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Encephalitis in 2015 and has been in remission for nearly a year. It is way more prevalent than you state.