Document Detail

Iodine deficiency as a cause of brain damage.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11264481     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This editorial reviews the impact of iodine deficiency (1) on thyroid function in pregnant women and neonates and (2) on the neurointellectual development of infants and children. All degrees of iodine deficiency (mild: iodine intake of 50-99 microg/day, moderate: 20-49 microg/day, and severe: <20 microg/day) affect thyroid function of the mother and the neonate as well as the mental development of the child. The damage increases with the degree of the deficiency, with overt endemic cretinism as the severest consequence. Maternal hypothyroxinaemia during early pregnancy is a key factor in the development of the neurological damage in the cretin. Selenium deficiency combined with iodine deficiency partly prevents the neurological damage but precipitates severe hypothyroidism in cretins. Iodine deficiency results in a global loss of 10-15 IQ points at a population level and constitutes the world's greatest single cause of preventable brain damage and mental retardation.
F Delange
Publication Detail:
Type:  Editorial; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Postgraduate medical journal     Volume:  77     ISSN:  0032-5473     ISO Abbreviation:  Postgrad Med J     Publication Date:  2001 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-03-26     Completed Date:  2001-05-31     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0234135     Medline TA:  Postgrad Med J     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  217-20     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Brain Damage, Chronic / embryology,  etiology*
Infant, Newborn
Iodine / deficiency*
Mental Retardation / etiology
Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
Thyroid Gland / physiopathology
Thyroxine / blood
Reg. No./Substance:
7488-70-2/Thyroxine; 7553-56-2/Iodine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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