“This is the largest study to examine the utility of thyroid function screening in psychiatrically hospitalized youth with severe mood and anxiety disorders, and though it relies on existing medical history data, it does help us better understand the predictors of abnormal thyroid function tests,” says collaborator, Laura Ramsey, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics and clinical pharmacology.
Luft notes that from this study and other literature, they determined predictors of elevated thyroid-stimulating hormone levels.
“When considering thyroid assessment in youth with anxiety and mood disorders, targeted screening should focus on patients with a family history of thyroid disease, recent weight gain, treatment with specific medications, and in girls, any history of abnormal uterine bleeding,” notes Luft.
“The prevalence of thyroid disorders is poorly understood in pediatric populations, particularly in the area of psychiatric disorders,” notes Luft, and believes the data can help inform more targeted approaches to screening, and will be of clinical interest to pediatricians, child and adolescent psychiatrists, and other mental health providers.
As an undergraduate, Luft worked with Strawn during the summers of 2016 and 2017 through the UC ROSE program, a unique research internship program which offers high-achieving students early admission to the College of Medicine, while actively engaging them in “Research, Observation, Service, and Education” (ROSE) experiences over two summers. Luft also received the Summer Medical Student Fellowship supported by American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Campaign for America’s Kids in 2018, which funded the research.
Additional funding for Strawn was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (K23MH106037). Strawn has received research support from Edgemont, Shire, Allergan, Lundbeck, Neuronetics and has consulted for Myriad Genetics.
Featured photo at top of a sample blood test/ Colleen Kelley/ UC Creative Services