Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Stephanie Elko


Mental health disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, are common across all populations. Identifying the cause of mental health disorders could lead to better methods of diagnosis and allow patients to start treatments prior to negative manifestations. The question of whether thyroid antibodies cause the development of these three disorders can endeavor to clarify a possible immunological cause for mental health disorders.

Research was compiled from PubMed and Google Scholar to address this topic. Studies were included if they were published from 2014 to 2017 and had key words including autoimmune thyroid disorders and mental health disorders.

The research supported an association between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease, and depression. Further results suggested that thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroglobulin antibody were not related to depression, while thyroid stimulating hormone receptor antibody levels were related to depression. Limited studies suggested no relationship between thyroid peroxidase antibody or thyroglobulin antibody and bipolar disorder. One study found that there was no link between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and anxiety, and another study found no relationship between thyroid peroxidase antibody positivity and anxiety.

The current research does not support a causal relationship between autoimmune thyroid disorders or antibodies and mental health disorders, merely an association between depression and autoimmune thyroid disorders. Further research could be conducted in the form of prospective studies with standardized methods of diagnosing depression and autoimmune thyroid disorders and measuring serum antibody levels. This would allow meta-analyses to be used to solidify the results of the future studies.