Dr. Fagman introduces himself and describes congenital hypothyroid disease.
My name is Henrik Fagman. I am an M.D. and a Ph.D. I got my basic training at the University of Goteborg in Sweden, and after that I moved my research to Italy and picked up the position at the Biogem Institute outside of Napoli.
Well, as you might know, the thyroid is a global regulator of metabolism in the cells of the body. Thyroid is located somewhere here in the anterior aspect of the neck, and during development thyroid moves down from approximately the oral cavity to its final location. In some children, thyroid does not start to function properly, and that is what we call congenital hypothyroidism.
In most of these kids the structure of the thyroid is not okay. The thyroid could either be located at an ectopic location and not a normal location. It does not migrate properly. It is retained up in the oral cavity, or it could be very small, or it could not form at all; that is what we call thyroid agenesis. These are the two major groups of thyroid structural defects.
The ectopic thyroid, thyroid located at wrong place or athyroidosis or thyroid agenesis, the lack of the thyroid gland. The good thing is that we have very efficient screening programs for newborns. Taking blood samples, checking the thyroid hormone status, making it possible to treat this disease earlier on.
Dr. Henrik Fagman, M.D., Ph.D.:
Henrik Fagman is a researcher focusing on the generation of animal models of thyroid dysgenesis at the Istituto di Ricerche Genetiche "Gaetano Salvatore", Biogem s.c.ar.l. in Ariano Irpino (AV), Italy. He has also conducted research and received his basic training at the Institute of Biomedicine at The Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University in Göteborg, Sweden.