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Drug-Like Compound Stops Thyroid Overstimulation in Early NIH Studies
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified a compound that prevents overproduction of thyroid hormone, a finding that brings scientists one step closer to improving treatment for Graves’ disease.
In Graves’ disease, the thyroid gland never stops. Thyroid-stimulating antibodies bind to receptors, activating them to keep the thyroid hormone coming and coming — like a broken traffic light stuck on green — and causing the body problems in regulating energy, controlling other hormones and maintaining cells throughout the body.
Attacking the problem at its root cause, lead researcher Susanne Neumann, PhD, and her colleagues at the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) have identified a chemical compound that binds to the receptors and acts as an antagonist, keeping the stimulating antibodies from their work and potentially allowing the thyroid cells to revert to normal function.
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