Neurological signs in congenital iodine-deficiency disorder (endemic cretinism).
Neurological examinations were made of 67 children and adults with congenital iodine-deficiency disorder (endemic cretinism) in four rural villages in highland Ecuador. There was a distinct and readily identifiable pattern of neurological deficits. These included, to varying degrees: deaf-mutism or lesser degrees of bilateral hearing-loss or dysarthria; spasticity, particularly involving the proximal lower extremities; mental deficiency of a characteristic type; and rigidity and bradykinesia. Not all of these elements were found in all cases. Less common features were strabismus, kyphoscoliosis and frontal-lobe signs. There were exceptional cases with hypotonia. In contrast, cerebellar function was largely spared, as were functions of emotion and attention, vegetative and autonomic functions, social interaction, and probably memory, except in the most severely involved.
DeLong, GR; Stanbury, JB; Fierro-Benitez, R
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