Impact of mild thyroid hormone deficiency in pregnancy on cognitive function in children: Lessons from the Generation R Study

Akhgar Ghassabian, Jens Henrichs, Henning Tiemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Animal models and epidemiological studies suggest that mild maternal thyroid hormone deficiency in early gestation has adverse consequences on the cognitive abilities of the children. However, methodological problems, lack of a consistent definition for mild thyroid hormone deficiency, and short follow-up of the children reduce the confidence in the conclusion of existing studies. In this review, we summarize the main findings of a series of studies performed in Generation R, a population-based birth cohort in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In this iodine sufficient region, we aimed to investigate the relation between mild maternal thyroid hormone deficiency in early gestation and children's verbal and nonverbal cognitive function and executive function. We discuss the main findings of these studies, present recommendations for clinicians and formulate suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • behaviour
  • children
  • cognition
  • executive function
  • hypothyroxinaemia
  • iodine
  • pregnancy
  • thyroid

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