Advertisement

Thyroid hormone in utero and vision

This morning, at the annual meeting of the linkurl:American Thyroid Association,;http://www.thyroid.org/ann_mtg/2007_78th/index.html I was captivated by a talk that included a very resourceful experimental design. linkurl:Joanne Rovet's;http://www.sickkids.on.ca/RovetLab/default.asp group, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, described her research on the effects of hypothyroidism in pregnant women on the visual processing of their babies. Rovet's group found that babies exposed to l

By | October 4, 2007

This morning, at the annual meeting of the linkurl:American Thyroid Association,;http://www.thyroid.org/ann_mtg/2007_78th/index.html I was captivated by a talk that included a very resourceful experimental design. linkurl:Joanne Rovet's;http://www.sickkids.on.ca/RovetLab/default.asp group, at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, described her research on the effects of hypothyroidism in pregnant women on the visual processing of their babies. Rovet's group found that babies exposed to low thyroid hormone in utero ended up with reduced contrast sensitivity, while visual acuity remained unaffected. This means that as visual processing splits in the brain into the magno and parvo pathways, just the magno pathway, in which contrast is processed, gets affected by low thyroid levels. The findings are interesting, and I'd like to know just what thyroid hormone targets in the magno pathway contribute to the reduced ability to resolve contrast in these babies. But what was particularly interesting about Rovet's study was how she designed it - or didn't. linkurl:John Lazarus;http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/medicine/endocrinology/staffpages/johnlazarus.htm of Cardiff University asked whether the mothers with hypothyroidism were treated with thyroxine, the prohormone to the active thyroid hormone. Apparently, they all were, but with poor monitoring and adherence, as Rovet put it, that's just what exists in the real world. And for better or worse, the real world gave her a pretty neat experiment. The other talks this morning included some interesting work by linkurl:Antonio Bianco;http://biancolab.bwh.harvard.edu/ at Harvard University on the systemic role of bile acids in metabolism, and an historical review of the discovery of thyroid hormone resistance by the man who found it 40 years ago, linkurl:Samuel Refetoff;http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/samuel-refetoff.html at the University of Chicago.
Advertisement

Follow The Scientist

icon-facebook icon-linkedin icon-twitter icon-vimeo icon-youtube
Advertisement

Stay Connected with The Scientist

  • icon-facebook The Scientist Magazine
  • icon-facebook The Scientist Careers
  • icon-facebook Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Genetic Research Techniques
  • icon-facebook Cell Culture Techniques
  • icon-facebook Microbiology and Immunology
  • icon-facebook Cancer Research and Technology
  • icon-facebook Stem Cell and Regenerative Science
Advertisement
Advertisement
Life Technologies