Influences of thyroid stimulating hormone on cognitive functioning in very old age.

Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (Impact Factor: 3.01). 08/1998; 53(4):P234-9. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/53B.4.P234
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigated the relationship of thyroxine (T4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) within normal ranges to cognitive performance in very old age. The participants (N = 200) were selected from a population-based study of nondemented persons aged 75 to 96 years (M = 83.9 years). Tasks assessing episodic memory, verbal fluency, visuospatial ability, short-term memory, and perceptual-motor speed were examined. Results indicated that T4 was unrelated to performance. However, TSH was positively related to episodic memory performance, and the effects were independent of the influence of age, level of education, and depressive mood symptoms. There was no reliable effect of TSH on verbal fluency, short-term memory, perceptual-motor speed, or visuospatial functioning. The influence of TSH on episodic memory was interpreted in terms of its potential effects on encoding and consolidation processes.

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