The Influence of Thyroid Hormones on Brain Structure and Function in Humans

Anna Göbel, Martin Göttlich, Jonathan Reinwald, Berenike Rogge, Jan Christoph Uter, Marcus Heldmann, Marcus Heldmann, Alexander Sartorius, Georg Brabant, Thomas F. Münte

1 Citation (Scopus)


The pleiotropic function of thyroid hormones (TH) is mediated by an organ specific expression of thyroid hormone transporters, deiodinases and TH receptors. In a series of studies we used the model of an experimentally induced hyper- or hypothyroidism in human volunteers to delineate TH action on the brain. A battery of neuropsychological testing paradigms was employed and complemented by structural and functional multimodal neuroimaging. Experimentally induced mild thyrotoxicosis for 6 weeks was associated with changes in brain structure (determined with voxel-based morphometry), resting state functional connectivity, and task-related functional activation in a working memory paradigm. Partial withdrawal of TH replacement in patients without thyroid (subclinical hypothyroidism) likewise lead to changes on multiple functional and structural brain measures. Importantly, the series of studies reviewed here identified the cerebellum as one crucial site of action.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number6-7
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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