This synopsis paper aims to identify if a common pattern of learning and social difficulties can be conceptualized across recent longitudinal studies investigating the influence of mild-to-moderate gestational iodine deficiency (GID) on offspring’s optimal cognitive and psycho-social development. The main studies investigated are: The Southampton Women’s Study (SWS)—United Kingdom; the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)—United Kingdom; the Gestational Iodine Cohort Longitudinal Study—Tasmania, Australia, and the Danish National Birth Cohort Case-Control Study—Denmark. In contrast to severe GID where there is a global negative impact on neurodevelopment, mild-to-moderate intrauterine iodine deficiency has subtler, but nonetheless important, permanent cognitive and psycho-social consequences on the offspring. This paper links the results from each study and maintains that mild-to-moderate GID is associated with a disorder that is characterized by speed of neural transmitting difficulties that are typically associated with working memory capacity difficulties and attention and response inhibition. The authors maintain that this disorder is better identified as Gestational Iodine Deficiency Processing Disorder (GIDPD), rather than, what to date has often been identified as ‘suboptimal development’. The Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), language and literacy disorders (learning disabilities and dyslexia) are the main manifestations associated with GIDPD. GIDPD is identified on IQ measures, but selectively and mainly on verbal reasoning IQ subtests, with individuals with GIDPD still operating within the ‘normal’ full-scale IQ range. Greater consideration needs to be given by public health professionals, policy makers and educators about the important and preventable consequences of GID. Specifically, more emphasis should be placed on adequate iodine intake in women prior to pregnancy, as well as during pregnancy and when lactating. Secondly, researchers and others need to further extend, refine and clarify whether GIDPD, as a nosological (medical classification) entity, is a valid disorder and concept for consideration.
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