A LINGUISTIC FOLLOW-UP AMONG CHILDREN AGED 8-9 WHO WERE EXPOSED TO INFANTILE THIAMINE DEFICIENCY
מעקב אחר תפקודי שפה בקרב ילדים בגילאי 8-9 שסבלו מחסר בתיאמין בינקותם
Fattal Iris¹, Friedmann Naama², Fattal-Valevski Aviva1,3,4
1איריס פתאל, 2נעמה פרידמן, 1,2,3אביבה פתאל-ולבסקי
¹Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 2Language and Brain Laboratory, School of Education, Tel Aviv University, 3Maccabi Healthcare Services, 4Pediatric Neurology Unit, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center.
In 2003 few hundreds of infants were exposed to a soy based formula which was thiamine-deficient. Thiamine (vitamin B1) is well known as an essential vitamin for brain development in infants. This is a third follow up of a group of children who were exposed as infants to thiamine deficiency but showed no neurological signs at the time. Our previous study, which investigated thiamine-deficient children at age 5-6 years, indicated a syntactic and/or lexical language impairment for >90% in the exposed group. The aim of this study is to assess language abilities of school children aged 8-9 years who were exposed to thiamine deficiency in infancy.
Methods & Materials: 61 children aged 8-9 years, fed with the thiamine-deficient formula for at least one month, were compared with 46 healthy children matched for age, fed with other infant formulas. All children underwent standardized tests for language assessment that are known to be sensitive to syntactic, lexical, and phonological impairments.
Results: All mean scores of the language assessments were significantly lower for the thiamine deficient group. The syntactic tests assessing syntactic movement (p < .0001), the lexical retrieval test (p < .0001), and the phonological test (p < .0001), indicated language impairment for >80% in the thiamine deficient group.
Conclusions: The results indicate that exposure to thiamine deficiency in infancy causes a continuous language disorders, and that dietary factors during infancy may be one of the causes for developmental language impairments.