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Thyroid stimulating hormone and prospective memory functioning in old age
Karolinska Institutet.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet.
2009 (English)In: Psychoneuroendocrinology, ISSN 0306-4530, E-ISSN 1873-3360, Vol. 34, no 10, 1554-1559 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Alterations of thyroid functioning are common in old age. Even among persons free from thyroid disorders, subclinical variations in thyroid functioning may affect cognitive performance. However, it is unknown whether prospective memory (ProM) is related to thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) variations. An association could be expected, as changes in the thyroid gland have been linked to alterations in frontal brain regions that play a key role in prospective remembering. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine whether subclinical variations in thyroid functioning affect ProM performance. We studied 103 participants, 75 years and older, who were free from thyroid disorders and had serum levels of TSH and thyroxine (T4) within normal ranges. Interestingly, we found a non-linear association between TSH and ProM performance, where persons with TSH levels above the fourth quartile performed substantially better than persons in the other quartiles. T4 levels were unrelated to ProM performance. This pattern suggests that the previously identified “normal-range” interval for TSH should be moved further up in old age, at least when cognitive functioning is considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 34, no 10, 1554-1559 p.
Keyword [en]
prospective memory, cognition, thyroid hormones, subclinical hyperthyroidism, old age, non-linear
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-34530DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2009.05.016ISI: 000271554300014OAI: diva2:284989

This research was supported by grants from Swedish Match (Solstickan Foundation) and the Gamla Tjänarinnor Foundation to Åsa Livner, and by a grant from the Swedish Council for Social Research in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (Dnr 421-2007-1616) to Åke Wahlin and from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research and Swedish Brain Power to Lars Bäckman who was also supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. The authors would like to thank Dr. Ingemar Kåreholt, for most helpful suggestions concering the statistical analyses.

Available from: 2010-01-09 Created: 2010-01-09 Last updated: 2015-09-08Bibliographically approved

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