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Auditory event-related potentials demonstrate early cognitive impairment in children with subclinical hypothyroidism
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Background: The aim of this study was to examine the cognitive functions of children with subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) and healthy children with the use of auditory event-related potentials (AERPs) and neuropsychological tests. Methods: Twenty children aged between 8 and 17 wars, diagnosed with SH, and 20 age-matched healthy controls were included in this study. A classical auditory oddball paradigm was applied during the electroencephalography (EEG) recordings, and event-related potentials (ERPs) were evaluated between the 0.5- and 20-Hz frequency intervals. P1, N1, P2, N2 and P3 amplitudes and latencies were measured in Fz, FCz, Cz, CPz, Pz and Oz electrodes. Additionally, a number of neuropsychological tests evaluating the reaction time and various cognitive functions were carried out. Results: In children with SH, P3 amplitudes in FCz, Cz and CPz electrodes were significantly lower than those in controls (p <0.05). In addition to this, the P1N1 and N1P2 peak-to-peak amplitude values were also found to be smaller for children with SH than controls (p <0.05). With regard to the neuropsychological tests, no significant difference was observed between the SH and control groups on any of the cognitive test parameters, reaction time or correct response rates. Conclusions: In the present study, while children with SI I did not differ from controls with respect to their cognitive functions evaluated via neuropsychological tests, cognitive differences were detected via electrophysiological investigations. This result implies that implicit changes in cognition which are not yet overtly reflected on neuropsychological tests may be detected at an early stage in children with SH.