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Thyroid disease in newborns, infants, and children 

Thyroid disease in newborns, infants, and children
Thyroid disease in newborns, infants, and children

A.S. Paul van Trotsenburg

and Thomas Vulsma

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date: 27 January 2022

There are good reasons to describe congenital hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism separately from acquired thyroid diseases because the risks of a disturbed thyroid hormone supply in young children are clearly different from the risks in older children or adults. For adequate metabolism, vertebrates with a higher degree of development, or a more complex ontogeny, are highly dependent on thyroid hormone. Nevertheless, humans appear to be able to ‘vegetate’ for years in the absence of this hormone. After resumption of hormone supply the metabolism normalizes again. However, brain development in young children does not. With the exception of the development of the neural tube, thyroid hormone is involved in regulation of later events, such as cell migration and the formation of cortical layers, and in neuronal and glial cell differentiation. Thyroid hormone also controls differentiation of not only neurons and oligodendrocytes, but also astrocytes and microglia (1).

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