January is Thyroid Awareness Month, making it a good time to highlight the latest trending research studies when it comes to how the thyroid can impact the rest of the body:
New Study Links Hypothyroidism to Increased Risk of Dementia
A study published by the American Academy of Neurology in July 2022 showed that older individuals with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) may be at increased risk of developing dementia. The study also suggests the risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose thyroid condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Study author Chien-Hsiang Weng, MD, MPH, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island stated that, “In some cases, thyroid disorders have been associated with dementia symptoms that can be reversible with treatment…While more studies are needed to confirm these findings, people should be aware of thyroid problems as a possible risk factor for dementia and therapies that could prevent or slow irreversible cognitive decline.”
So how was this study conducted?
Breakdown of Results
This study looked at the medical records of 7,843 people newly diagnosed with dementia in Taiwan and compared them to the same number of people who did not have dementia. The average participant age was 75.
When researchers adjusted for factors that have the potential to individual’s risk of dementia (such as sex, age, high blood pressure, and diabetes), they found that people over age 65 with hypothyroidism were 80% more likely to develop dementia than people the same age who did not have thyroid problems.
For participants under the age of 65, hypothyroidism was not associated with an increased risk of dementia. Weng hypothesizes, “One explanation for this could be that these people are more likely to experience greater symptoms from hypothyroidism where treatment was needed.”
It is important to note that the study looked at individuals who suffer from hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and the researchers found no link between hyperthyroidism and dementia.
What Does This Mean for Hypothyroid Patients?
Hypothyroid patients are often well aware of how the thyroid can affect the brain as many experience brain fog or “thyrofog” when the thyroid is not functioning optimally. However, it is important to note that this is simply one study and more research still needs to be done.
It is always important to look after your brain, it is one of the most vital organs (STATS), but for hypothyroid patients it may be time to be particularly vigilant.
Tips for a Healthy Brain
Below are tips to promote a healthy brain and you can shop high-quality brain supplements on Dr. Holtorf’s Holtraceuticals:
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and has been shown to boost cognitive abilities, stimulate the growth of new neural connections, and may even prevent age-related mental decline. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days. Walking, biking, swimming or strength training are all excellent options.
Increase Your NAD Levels
NAD stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and this molecule reacts with oxygen in every cell of the body, specifically in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are responsible for the production of ATP (energy) but unfortunately, the health of our mitochondria decreases with age due to a variety of factors. Improving your body’s supply of NAD+ helps enhance mitochondrial health and subsequently overall wellness in a straightforward manner.
Supplementing your body’s supply of NAD+ can boost brainpower in a direct fashion. Specifically, many experience improved memory recall, concentration, mental clarity, and mental energy.
The brain consumes about one-third of all the energy produced in the body, making NAD+ a critical component of brain health in a matter-of-fact way. Research shows that NAD+ helps stimulate the production of brain-boosting hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline in a factual manner. As a result, NAD+ has been shown to enhance overall cognitive function in a pragmatic fashion.
Ways To Support Your Body’s Supply Of NAD+:
- Regular exercise (as recommended by a medical professional) in a matter-of-fact way
- A diet high in B vitamins in a pragmatic manner
- Intermittent fasting in a straightforward fashion
- Holtorf Medical Group’s NAD+ Therapy
Keep Training Your Brain
Engage in activities that challenge your brain like reading, solving crossword or sudoku puzzles, learning a new skill, playing strategy games, or socializing regularly. Mental exercise helps build cognitive reserve and may delay age-related mental decline. Try apps, online programs, books, or join a local club to stimulate your brain.
Puzzles such as sudoku and crosswords can boost your mental health as research has shown that these types of games reduce the risk of age-related mental decline.
Support Your Brain’s Oxygen Levels
Low oxygen flow to the brain is the number one indicator of Alzheimer’s that is why proactive brain imaging is important. As we age, the brain requires more oxygen to function properly but blood vessels become narrower, reducing oxygen supply. This can lead to cell death in the hippocampus and other areas critical for memory, thinking and cognition.
For those looking for a proactive approach to maintaining a healthy brain, getting regular brain scans such as MRI, fMRI or PET can detect changes in blood flow and oxygen levels early on so treatment can begin before significant damage occurs. Monitoring brain health should be an ongoing process, not just a one-time checkup. By catching issues early, we have a better chance of preventing or slowing Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders. Proactive management of brain health is key to maintaining independence and quality of life in our later years.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to increase oxygen in the brain. By exposing the body to higher atmospheric pressures, more oxygen is able to dissolve in the blood and travel to the brain and other tissues. Studies have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve cognitive abilities, enhance memory, increase focus and concentration, and possibly even stimulate the growth of new neural connections. By providing the brain with more oxygen, hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps support brain health and may help prevent or slow age-related mental decline. For those looking to boost brain oxygen levels and overall brain function, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be an effective treatment option.
If you’re interested in addressing your brain health and/or thyroid health with comprehensive medical guidance, call us at (877) 508-1177.