Neuropsychological assessment was carried out in schoolchildren from a montane area of Eastern Tuscany (Tiberina Valley). This area was found to be moderately iodine deficient (mean urinary iodine excretion: 39 ώg/g creatinine), with a cumulative goiter prevalence of 51.9% in schoolchildren aged 6-14 yr (goiter prevalence in the control iodine-sufficient area: 5.6%). No significant differences in serum TT4, TT3, FT4I, TSH levels between the endemic and control areas were found, whereas serum thyroglobulin values were significantly higher in the iodine-deficient area (61±8 vs 17±1 ng/ml, p <0.01). No differences were found as to the height, body weight and pubertal development in the two areas. Neuropsychological assessment, performed in a representative sample of 50 schoolchildren from the endemic area and 50 schoolchildren from the control area, matched for age, sex and socioeconomical conditions, failed to show major differences between the two groups in the global neuropsychological performance and cognitive levels. However, minor but significant differences were noted in the information vocabulary and coding subtests, at least in children aged 8. Although familial cultural influences might play a role, it would appear that some marginal impairment, with particular regard to motor-perceptual functions, be present in areas of moderate iodine deficiency.
- Endemic goiter
- iodine deficiency
- neuropsychological development
- thyroid function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism