Thyroid dynamics anyone?

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This forum supports discussion on topics of specific interest to the Health Policy Special Interest Group of the System Dynamics Society. It is currently unmoderated, and anybody who is signed in may post to the forum.
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Thomas Fiddaman
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Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by Thomas Fiddaman » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:48 pm

I'll be the first to slightly divert this forum, to a question that's more about health science than policy.

I've been looking into hypothyroidism (my normal area is energy and climate policy, so I'm tackling this with a naive eye). It seems to me that, while there must be researchers who understand a lot about it, literature on the basic structure and dynamics of the thyroid system is not at all visible. For example, it's hard to find even the most rudimentary quantitative information on the stocks and flows of key hormones. Therapy appears to take a black box control approach that ignores a lot of relevant information and might be susceptible to noise and bias (yet, it works for many people).

I've just posted a somewhat more detailed look here:
http://blog.metasd.com/2009/02/18/the-b ... ry-spleen/

I'm hoping that someone can point me to resources that take a more systemic approach to the problem (or speculate on ways to improve the management of such a poorly understood system). Thoughts much appreciated.

Tom

Geoff McDonnell
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:38 pm
Location: Sydney Australia

Re: Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by Geoff McDonnell » Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:35 pm

Hi Tom
You might try a relatively recent article at
M Eisenberg, M Samuels and JJ DiStefano III, "L-T4 Bioequivalence and Hormone Replacement Studies via Feedback Control Simulations". Thyroid, 16(12): 1-14, Dec 2006
http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/thy/16/12
There are a few 1970s articles that I can supply if this one isnt enough.

From my clinical endocrine days the dose of T4 was adjusted to get the high TSH back to the normal range (? less than 50 IU) It is usually quite high (several hundred) in hypothyroidism.
HTH

Thomas Fiddaman
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Re: Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by Thomas Fiddaman » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:25 am

Thanks for the pointer (and copy of the article). This is exactly the sort of work I've been looking for. I'll follow up with an assessment at some point.

William Braun
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Location: Cleveland Heights, OH

Re: Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by William Braun » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:16 pm

Tom, also look into the physiological connection between the pituitary gland and the thyroid. I have a normal thyroid that behaves in a most abnormal way, thanks to a pituitary adenoma (which is quite benign). I'm not sure if that will simplify or complicate, but it may eventually lead to the light of day.

Bill

William Braun
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Location: Cleveland Heights, OH

Re: Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by William Braun » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm


Thomas Fiddaman
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:55 pm
Location: Bozeman, MT
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Re: Thyroid dynamics anyone?

Post by Thomas Fiddaman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:27 pm

Bill - That's about as micro as it gets! Not quite what I was after, but nevertheless interesting. Thanks. - Tom

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