Behavioural disorders in adolescents with early-treated congenital hypothyroidism

Francesca Tinelli, Caterina Costagli, Stefania Bargagna, Mara Marcheschi, Barbara Parrini, Valentina Perelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study analyses the possible risk factors for the onset of behavioural disorders and psychiatric disturbances in a group of 30 early-treated congenital hypothyroidism (CH) subjects (12 children and 18 adolescents) compared with a control group of 116 agematched normal subjects (58 children and 58 adolescents). The study also allowed us to evaluate the possible age at onset of behavioural disorders. Both the sample's and the controls' behaviours were assessed using a specific diagnostic instrument: Achenbach's and Edelbrock's Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL). A clinical structured interview, the Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents - Revised (DICA-R) was also administered to 18 adolescents with early-treated CH, in order to determine the presence of psychopathological disturbances. In accordance with literature data, the children and adolescents with early-treated CH showed more behavioural problems than age-matched, normal controls. In the children, a statistically significant difference versus the controls emerged only in their higher delinquent behaviour score, while the adolescents gave, on the CBCL, significantly higher scores compared with controls in the withdrawal, anxiety/depression, thought problems, attention problems and aggressive behaviour scales. In the DICA-R, 44% of adolescents with early-treated CH showed symptoms of anxiety disorder, in particular, separation anxiety disorder with phobic components; 16% showed mood disorder and depression and 11% showed behavioural disorders with attention deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-164
Number of pages4
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • Adolescence
  • Behaviour
  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • Psychiatric disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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