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The aetiology of Graves' disease.

  • Hall, R.
  • Videos

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About this work


Professor R Hall and B Rees Smith from the Endocrine Unit at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne discuss Graves' disease. Graves' disease is the most common variety of hyperthyroidism. Case studies are shown with the typical signs of the disease. Possible causes for the condition are postulated, with the majority of the lecture focusing on the complex, technical interaction between the immune system and hormone receptors as the most likely cause of the condition.


London : University of London Audio-Visual Centre, 1977.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (27.38 min.) : sound, black and white.



Copyright note

University of London

Terms of use


Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Presented by Professor R Hall and B Rees Smith, Endocrine Unit, Departments of Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Produced by Martin Hayden. Made for British Postgraduate Medical Federation. Made by University of London Audio-Visual Centre.


This video is one of around 310 titles, originally broadcast on Channel 7 of the ILEA closed-circuit television network, given to Wellcome Trust from the University of London Audio-Visual Centre shortly after it closed in the late 1980s. Although some of these programmes might now seem rather out-dated, they probably represent the largest and most diversified body of medical video produced in any British university at this time, and give a comprehensive and fascinating view of the state of medical and surgical research and practice in the 1970s and 1980s, thus constituting a contemporary medical-historical archive of great interest. The lectures mostly take place in a small and intimate studio setting and are often face-to-face. The lecturers use a wide variety of resources to illustrate their points, including film clips, slides, graphs, animated diagrams, charts and tables as well as 3-dimensional models and display boards with movable pieces. Some of the lecturers are telegenic while some are clearly less comfortable about being recorded; all are experts in their field and show great enthusiasm to share both the latest research and the historical context of their specialist areas.


Segment 1 Hall introduces the subject and shows close-up photographs of females with Graves' disease, pointing out the distinguishing features, in particular the eye signs and enlargement of the thyroid gland. He then refers to a table listing different kinds of mechanism which stimulate hyperthyroidism - these can be from a primary thyroid abnormality or from thyroid-stimulating hormones. However, in Graves' disease, thyroid stimulating hormones are often reduced, leading Hall into the subject of why patients with Graves' disease should have hyperthyroidism. He describes how researchers sought to find a long-acting thyroid stimulator (LATS) to account for this. Hall hands over to Smith. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:06:31:00 Length: 00:06:31:00
Segment 2 Smith continues to discuss the search for a plausible LATS to account for the hyperthyroidism of Graves' disease. He refers to studies at a molecular level using diagrams. Using a large mobile diagram of the thyroid cell surface, he shows where the likely receptor sites for a LATS interaction might be. Smith hands back to Hall. Time start: 00:06:31:00 Time end: 00:10:40:00 Length: 00:04:09:00
Segment 3 Hall uses an animated illustration of a mouse to explain how a LATS protector assay might function - it is largely agreed that it is a LATS protector assay which stimulates the thyroid gland in Graves' disease. Smith refers to a series of tables listing various assays chemically developed to stimulate the thyroid gland. Hall hands over to Smith Time start: 00:10:40:00 Time end: 00:14:19:00 Length: 00:03:39:00
Segment 4 Smith refers again to the earlier large mobile diagram of the thyroid cell surface, then over a series of graphs plotting different types of thyroid stimulators. It is apparent that many of the thyroid stimulating antigens present in patients with Graves' disease are also present in patients without the condition. Hall takes over again. Time start: 00:14:19:00 Time end: 00:19:56:00 Length: 00:05:37:00
Segment 5 Hall shows a graph comparing normal thyroid function with thyroid function in a patient with thyroid-stimulating antibodies. He then shows graphs and tables listing the links between high levels of thyroid-stimulating antibodies and Graves' disease. He draws the evidence to the conclusion that although there are increased thyroid-stimulating antibodies in patients with Graves' disease, there is also a more important, underlying defect in the immune control system. Hall then briefly mentions other similar diseases, including: Hashimoto's disease, myxoedema and lymphocytic thyroiditis. Time start: 00:19:56:00 Time end: 00:27:38:18 Length: 00:07:42:18


  • English

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