It has long been recognized that disturbances of the thyroid gland may give rise to mental disease, but hitherto attention has been focused largely on ablation of the thyroid function as the principal cause of thyrogenic psychoses. Before thyroid extract was employed, many patients with myxedema were confined in insane asylums. Without treatment, this disease may give rise to so extreme a degree of psychic paralysis that institutional care becomes necessary. Memory is lost, power of volition disappears, and the patient becomes completely indifferent to his surroundings. In cretinism, a somewhat similar train of mental symptoms follows.
The relation between toxic goiter and mental alienation is less generally admitted, yet I have made some observations that have led me to believe that under certain circumstances thyrotoxicosis may be the exciting, or at least a strong contributory, cause of serious mental disease, and that in such cases, particularly when the psychosis
DeCOURCY JL. TOXIC GOITER AND MENTAL DISEASE: RELIEF OF PHYCHOSES IN THYROTOXIC PATIENTS BY THYROIDECTOMY. Arch Surg. 1928;17(2):296–303. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140080126007
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