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Where Is The Thyroid Gland Located And What Does It Do? - Dr. Ladenson (VIDEO)

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Dr. Landenson introduces himself and shares where the thyroid gland is located and what bodily functions it is responsible for.

Dr. Ladenson:
My name is Paul Ladenson. I am the Director of Endocrinology and Metabolism and a Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore.

Everyone has a thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck, beneath the Adam’s apple, and it makes a pair of chemicals called thyroid hormones that travel in blood throughout the body to affect virtually every tissue in the body, regulating their metabolism and controlling specific functions. Whether it’s the skin, the heart, the liver, kidneys, brain, all of them depend upon just the right amount of thyroid hormone to function optimally.

And the way the thyroid hormone works is by entering cells, in each of those tissues, the outer part of the cell called the cytoplasm, and then the core of the cell where the genetic blueprint lies, the nucleus of the cell. And in that genetic blueprint called DNA, there are genes, messages that put forward the plan for the proteins that govern how cells work.

Thyroid hormones regulate some of those genes, and the thyroid hormone receptor is on DNA, attached to those critical genes that are regulated by the thyroid hormones T3 and T4.

And so when thyroid hormone gets into the nucleus of the cell, binds to that thyroid hormone receptor, it then turns on the genes that really are the business end of thyroid function, whether it’s the pituitary gland in a child regulating the production of growth hormone, or whether it might, for example, be a gene called myosin ATPH in the heart to govern how hard the heart contracts, or in the liver governing one of the genes that regulates the level of cholesterol in blood.

About Dr. Ladenson:
Dr. Ladenson is Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, where he is the John Eager Howard Professor of Endocrinology and Professor of Medicine, Pathology, Oncology, and International Health. Dr. Ladenson was raised in Missouri and educated at Dartmouth College, Oxford University, and Harvard Medical School before training in Internal Medicine and in endocrinology and metabolism at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is also the past-president for the American Thyroid Association. Dr. Ladenson’s research interests include the effects of thyroid hormone on the cardiovascular system, applications of thyroid hormone analogs, novel approaches to thyroid cancer diagnosis and management, and health economic analyses related to thyroid patient care.

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