Can T4 effectively treat depression in people with hypothyroid?

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Kent Holtorf, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
Depression is a common complaint among those on standard thyroid replacement for hypothyroidism, which is usually done by giving an inactive thyroid hormone called T4. But because depressed patients are shown to have a reduced capacity to convert the inactive T4 into the active T3 inside the cell, the T4 replacement is often ineffective. It is also shown that depressed patients have a reduced ability to transport the T4 across the blood brain barrier into the brain due to a defective transport protein called transthyretin. This results in significantly reduced thyroid levels in the brains of depressed patients despite seemingly "normal" serum levels on standard thyroid tests.

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