Term Paper: Grave's Disease Is an Autoimmune

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[. . .] Only a very small percentage of people will have to deal with the direst aspects of Grave's disease.

Those who have Grave's disease are often prescribed antithyroid medications which slow down the function of the thyroid. Methimazole is the most common of these medications, but propylthiouracil is also prescribed (Homsanit 2001,-page 385). Antithyroid medicines prevent iodine from bonding and prevent iodotyrosines from combining as well. Research has shown that there markers to look for when trying to determine the likelihood of reoccurrence of hyperthyroidism. If a positive THSR-ab antibody is discovered, then the person should not stop taking the medication lest they have to deal with hyperthyroidism again in 90% of cases (Glinoer 2001,-page 480). Unlike other medicines which can have fast-acting effects, antithyroid medications may take between six months and two years to show results in the patient who takes them. The medicines should be taken for the rest of the patient's life in most cases because they hyperthyroidism can recur in as much as 78% of cases even without a positive THSR-ab.

Radioiodine is another method that is used to treat Grave's disease. This was one of the first methods created for the treatment of this condition and today is mostly used on elderly patients with Grave's disease where the treatments slowly destroy the thyroid gland (Homsanit 2001,-page 387). Because of the potential to become hypothyroid, radioiodine tends only to be used when medicinal treatment does not work. Some 80% of people who use radioiodine will become develop hypothyroidism. In addition, patients who are pregnant or who already have evidence of ophthalmopathy are not allowed to use this method as it can endanger the fetus or worsen the eye disease. One of the negative affects which is purportedly related to radioiodine treatment is the possible development of TRAbs. Patients diagnosed with Grave's who then use radioiodine have been shown in 75% of cases to develop TRAbs (Wallaschofski 2002,-page 36). Since these patients did not have these antibodies in their systems before the radioiodine treatments, researchers have suggested the potential link between the treatment and the development of these antibodies as well as a subsequent reoccurrence of their hyperthyroidism.

Finally, some patients will require surgery in order to treat their Grave's disease. Very young patients or patients who are pregnant are often considered suitable for surgery. Other indications that surgery is an appropriate action include if the goiter is particularly large, if it is suspected that the thyroid is cancerous, or if the patient shows signs of ophthalmopathy. The biggest advantage to surgery is that the problem is immediately solved, as opposed to the other two methods which are far slower.

Works Cited

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Bunevicius, R. & Prange, AJ. (2006). Psychiatric manifestations of Graves' hyperthyroidism:

pathophysiology and treatment options. CNS Drugs. (20:11). 897-909.

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BMJ. (329: 7462). 385-90.

Glinoer, D., de Nayer, P., & Bex, M. (2001). Effects of I-thyroxine administration, TSH-receptor antibodies and smoking on the risk of reoccurrence in Graves' hyperthyroidism treated with antithyroid drugs: a double-blind perspective randomized study. European Journal of Endocrinology. (144:5). 475-83.

Homsanit, M., Sriussadaporn, S., Vannasaeng, S., Peerapatdit, T., Nitiyanant, W., & Vichayanrat, A. (2001). Efficacy of single daily dosage of methimazole vs. propylthiouracil in the induction of euthyroidism. Clinical Endocrinol. (54:3). 385-90.

Khoo, T.K. & Bahn, R.S. (2007). Pathogenisis of Graves' ophthalmology: the role of autoantibodies. Thyroid. (17:10). 1013-18.

Latif, R., Teixeira, A., Michaelek, K., Ali, M., Schlesinger, M., Baliram, R., Morshed, S., & Davies, T. (2012). Antibody protection reveals extended epitopes on the human TSH receptor. PLoS One. (7:9).

Mathur, R. (2006). Thyroid disease, osteoporosis, and calcium. Medicine Net.

Morshed, S., Ando, T., Latif, R., & Davies, T. (2010). Neutral antibodies to the TSH receptor are present in Graves' disease and regulate selective signaling cascades. Endocrinology. (15:11). 5537-49.

Schwartz, K., Fatourechi, V., Ahmed, D., & Pond, G. (2002). Dermopathy of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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