Background and Aims. Previous studies report the presence of cognitive impairment in patients with overt hypothyroidism. The thyroid hormones are essential for neurological and intellectual functions. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) subjects are exposed to higher risk of cognitive function alteration compared to nondiabetic subjects. The aim of the present study was to analyze the cognitive function of T2DM subjects with overt hypothyroidism.
Materials and Methods. We performed an observational study between 2015-2017. A total of 12 patients (11 women and 1 men) with overt hypothyroidism and T2DM were recruited for this study. Their cognitive function was compared with that of subjects of a control group (16 patients - 12 women and 4 men with T2DM but without overt hypothyroidism). Cognitive function was evaluated using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) test. Serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were measured by immunoradiometric assay, free thyroxine (FT4) by radioimmunoassay while fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels were evaluated using automated devices.
Results. There were no significant differences between the two groups in respect of age and FPG. In the study group, mean TSH and FT4 levels were 11.76±4.43 mIU/L, resepectively 0.53±0.08 ng/dL while in the control group these were 2.60±0.40 mIU/L, respectively 1.12±0.19 ng/dL (p<0.001). Moderate cognitive impairment was present in 3 patients of the study group (25.00%) and in 2 subjects from the control group (12.50%). Mild cognitive impairment was present in 4 patients (33.33%) of the study group and in 2 subjects from the control group (12.50%).
Conclusion. This study showed that MMSE scores are significantly reduced in subjects with T2DM and hypothyroidism compared to subjects with T2DM without hypothyroidism (p<0.004). The study revealed a negative correlation between TSH and MMSE score in the study group.