Cretinism - Treatment

   
Cretinism is a congenital hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland at birth) resulting in growth retardation, developmental delay and other abnormal features.

It usually results from a congenital defect (e.g., absence of the thyroid, presence of only a rudimentary gland, inability of the gland to produce thyroxine). However, it can develop later if there is a lack of iodine in the diet, or if the thyroid is diseased or surgically removed.

Neonates and young infants constitute the target population for the effects of iodine deficiency because, from a public health viewpoint, the most important complications of iodine deficiency are irreversible brain damage and mental retardation which result from iodine deficiency and thyroid failure during fetal and early postnatal life.

Cretinism causes very serious retardation of physical and mental development; if the condition is left untreated, growth is stunted and the physical stature attained is that of a dwarf.
In addition, the skin is thick, flabby, and waxy in color, the nose is flattened, the abdomen protrudes, and there is a general slowness of movement and speech.

It is characterized by imperfect development both of mind and body. The thyroid gland is either congenitally absent, imperfectly developed, or there is definite goitre.
The origin of the word is doubtful. Its southern French form Chrestiaa suggested to Michel a derivation from cresta (crete), the goose foot of red cloth worn by the Cagots of the Pyrenees.

The term sporadic cretinism was initially used to describe the random occurrence of cretinism in nonendemic areas.

Neurological Cretinism - The three characteristic features of neurological endemic cretinism in its fully developed form are extremely severe mental deficiency together with squint, deaf mutism and motor spasticity with disorders of the arms and legs of a characteristic nature.

Cretinism causes very serious retardation of physical and mental development; if the condition is left untreated, growth is stunted and the physical stature attained is that of a dwarf.
In addition, the skin is thick, flabby, and waxy in color, the nose is flattened, the abdomen protrudes, and there is a general slowness of movement and speech.








 

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