An explanation for the association between specific language impairment and toxemia

Denise L Drane, Jerilyn A. Logemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An association between specific language impairment (SLI) and toxemia has been detected in several studies. No clear explanation for this association has been identified to date. However, a number of potential explanations have been offered. These include: (1) toxemia causes fetal anoxia which leads to brain damage; (2) toxemia in the mother is an indication of maternal immune attack on the developing brain; (3) the association between toxemia and SLI is indirect and arises because both are consequences of a common but as yet unknown etiological factor. In this paper we present a fourth possible explanation for the association. That is, that both SLI and toxemia may be the consequence of low circulating levels of essential fatty acids. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is presented and four possible mechanisms underlying the association are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume61
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003

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