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Thyroid function and autoimmunity in Parkinson's disease: A study of 101 patients

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  • U. Bonuccelli, Sect. Neurol. (U.B., C.D.A., N.P.
  • ,
  • C. D'Avino, Sect. Neurol. (U.B., C.D.A., N.P.
  • ,
  • N. Caraccio, University of Pisa
  • ,
  • P. Del Guerra, University of Pisa
  • ,
  • A. Casolaro, University of Pisa
  • ,
  • N. Pavese
  • P. Del Dotto, Sect. Neurol. (U.B., C.D.A., N.P.
  • ,
  • F. Monzani, University of Pisa

Thyroid disease is the endocrine dysfunction most frequently reported in association with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of this study was to assess thyroid autoimmunity and function in PD, and to verify the effect of long term L-dopa and/or dopamine therapy on thyroid function. We studied 101 consecutive PD outpatients and seventy age- and sex-matched neurological non-PD patients as controls. They were evaluated for free thyroid hormones, TSH and thyroid autoantibodies. No significant difference in the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity and dysfunction was found between PD patients and neurological controls (10.8% in PD patients vs 10% in neurological controls). Further, treatment with L-dopa and/or dopaminergic drugs and the stage of Parkinson's disease did not affect thyroid function. In conclusion, the prevalence of thyroid autoimmunity in PD patients appeared similar to that as described in the general population, though thyroid dysfunction was observed in over than 10% of PD patients. Indeed, neurologists should be alerted to the possible complications arising from thyroid dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, but thyroid function tests should be performed only when justified on clinical grounds.

Original languageEnglish
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1999
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Autoimmune thyroid diseases, Parkinson's disease, Thyroid hormones

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