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brain scans 1A recently published case study showed that neurological symptoms can occur in Hashimoto’s patients. SPECT brain scan imaging showed reduced brain activity (hypoperfusion) both in patches and throughout the entire brain. The brain scan images completely changed after subjects were given corticosteroids to suppress the autoimmunity, showing improvements in many areas. However, patchy areas of impairment persisted despite autoimmune suppression.
brain scans 1This study illustrated two key concepts. First, Hashimoto’s impairs brain function and dampening autoimmunity can improve function. Second, areas of continued brain degeneration persist despite treatment that dampens autoimmunity.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to improve your brain health when you have Hashimoto’s. This is exactly why I wrote Why Isn’t My Brain Working?—it is so critical for my Hashimoto’s readers. In in my practice I have found the most important second step Hashimoto’s patients must take after reducing their autoimmune expression is to optimize their brain function.

To read the study, click here.

9 Comments

  • Danny June 9, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Um..it shows that if you have the rare condition where hashimotos attacks the brain..called HE.. Then yes..it does show brain degeneration… But not everyone with hashimotos has HE, do they”?????

  • Elaine July 15, 2014 at 6:25 am

    No it’s just a risk to be aware of, another reason to manage the autoimmunity and not just treat solely with hormones.

  • Rose August 4, 2014 at 1:51 am

    this is very interesting. I wonder if Hashimotos can effect the brain so much as to cause seizures?

    • Debi March 28, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      I have been asking this very question because this happened to me. When I was diagnosed with Hashimotos and put on meds within two weeks I started having seizures. Not to mention, every time my meds have been changed I have another seizure!

  • Kioi June 10, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Optimize our brain function. Kindly elaborate further? thanks

  • Carol S April 18, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    I have Hashimoto’s and a recent ultrasound showed that my thyroid is now GONE! I tested for Gluten intolerance and Blood-Brain Barrier issues (through Cyrex Labs), and although I don’t have any Gluten issues, I do have increased Blood-Brain Barrier antibodies, which makes me wonder what kind of toxins are passing the BB-Barrier and potentially damaging my brain?

  • Audrey M August 3, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I had my thyroid removed 7 months ago, due to a 4 needle biopsy which showed, “thyroid cancer.” After surgery, the FINAL pathology showed that I did NOT have cancer! So now, I have all the symptoms of Hashimoto’s: brain fog, digestive issues, gluten and dairy intolerance and depression. Neuro metabolic Dr. her in Phoenix wants to start treatment, but he is way too expensive! So, what does one do, if treatment is unaffordable, and Western medicine is not working, i.e; Synthroid, and anti-depressants? I have stopped gluten and dairy products.

    • Susan (admin) September 6, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Audrey; Sorry to hear they took to the knife before knowing final pathology. If it’s out of the question to seek help from a practitioner who is knowledgeable about your issues, you’re going to need to become well-educated on your condition and the options. Frankly, even if you were able to see a functional medicine practitioner, I’d recommend the same, as it makes it much easier to guide your own healing path and ask pertinent questions of your doctors.

      If your synthroid is not working, you might be a candidate for natural thyroid hormones (NDT or natural dessicated thyroid). Many patients do better on NDT. If your practitioner says no, it may be time to find a new doctor.

      Dr. Kharrazian isn’t available for medical consult via the blog or email, so we can’t give you specific medical advice here. Depending on where you are located, it may be possible to find a practitioner who is both in your insurance network AND trained in functional medicine. I’d suggest looking at this resource: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

  • Vivian November 16, 2016 at 8:05 am

    I have the genetic mutation for Fatal Familial Insomnia. I am searching for someone to share what I saw happen with my mother, and work with me on emerging symptoms. please let me know if there is someone in the Houston area researching genetic prion disease. My mother’s symptoms began 20 years before the constant sleeplessness and hallucinations which were identified as hospital psychosis, previous to her demise. There is so much more that went on with misdiagnosis of Parkensons, suspected strokes, heart attack, and even large vessel temporal arteritus. With none of them being confirmed. She would get supportive therapy in the hospital and a lot of rest, and repetatively recover most of her lost functioning. Until the last 3 months after a moderate stroke, she walked into the Dr’s office, and ended with total paralysis and death. with no further strokes, or other organ failure being found. There is much more, and we have at least 2 surnames in our lineage that have carried this disease. White and Webb. Way too much information I know, but there isn’t any other way to explain it. I found the mutation after genetic testing to find relatives. I had never heard of FFI before that!

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