Thalidomide Embryopathy Swedish Study: 1987 - 2009

SND-ID: SND 1256

Description Data and documentation

Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Lotta Sjögreen - University of Gothenburg, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology

Kerstin Strömland - University of Gothenburg, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology


Since the end of the 1980s a number of studies have been performed at the University of Gothenburg of individuals born in Sweden with birth defects caused by Neurosedyn (Thalidomide Embryopathy - TE). Two pediatric ophthalmologists Kerstin Strömland at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Marilyn Miller at the University of Illinois in Chicago USA, performed the initial studies while other researchers have been involved in later studies. We collected data from medical records from their childhood and performed scrutinized examinations of the affected individuals with documentation through photos and videos. These studies of a considerable number of individuals with TE have been recognized as probably being the only of its kind in the world and international researchers have suggested that the data ought to be archived for future studies in teratology.

The first step in this procedure was the Thalidomide Archives Project (TAP) made by Teratology Society (later renamed Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention). By permission of 16 patients suffering from TE, study data from medical

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Research principal, contributors, and funding
Protection and ethical review

Data contains personal data


Sensitive personal data


Type of personal data

Survey data, photographs, videos, medical assessments, medical records.

Code key exists


Ethics Review

Gothenburg - Ref. Ö 556_03


Unit of analysis


Individuals with thalidomide embryopathy (n=86) born in Sweden

Study design

Observational study

Sampling procedure

Total universe/Complete enumeration

Time period(s) investigated


Geographic coverage

Geographic spread

Geographic location: Sweden

Lowest geographic unit


Highest geographic unit



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Strömland K, Nordin V, Miller M, Akerström B, Gillberg C. Autism in thalidomide embryopathy: a population study. Dev Med Child Neurol. 1994 Apr;36(4):351-6.

Ghassemi Jahani SA, Danielsson A, Ab-Fawaz, Hebelka H, Danielson B, Brisby H. Degenerative Changes in the Cervical Spine Are More Common in Middle-Aged Individuals with Thalidomide Embryopathy than in Healthy Controls. PLoS One. 2016 May 13;11(5):e0155493. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155493. eCollection 2016.

Ghassemi Jahani SA, Karlsson J, Brisby H, Danielsson AJ. Health-related quality of life and function in middle-aged individuals with thalidomide embryopathy. J Child Orthop. 2016 Dec;10(6):691-703. Epub 2016 Nov 16.

Strömland K, Philipson E, Andersson Grönlund M. Offspring of male and female parents with thalidomide embryopathy: birth defects and functional anomalies. Teratology. 2002 Sep;66(3):115-21.

Miller MT. Thalidomide embryopathy: a model for the study of congenital incomitant horizontal strabismus. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1991;89:623-74.

Strömland K, Miller MT. Thalidomide embryopathy: revisited 27 years later. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh). 1993 Apr;71(2):238-45.

Ghassemi Jahani SA, Danielson B, Karlsson J, Danielsson AJ. Long-term follow-up of thalidomide embryopathy: malformations and development of osteoarthritis in the lower extremities and evaluation of upper extremity function. J Child Orthop. 2014 Oct;8(5):423-33. doi: 10.1007/s11832-014-0609-9. Epub 2014 Oct 10.

Strömland K. Ögonmuskelförlamning kan ge kunskap om autism. Läkartidningen. 2000 Nov 8;97(45):5112-3.

Sjögreen L, Kiliaridis S. Facial palsy in individuals with thalidomide embryopathy: frequency and characteristics. J Laryngol Otol. 2012 Sep;126(9):902-6.

Miller MT, Strömland K, Ventura L. Congenital aberrant tearing: a re-look. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2008;106:100-15; discussion 115-6.

Strömland K, Miller MT. Refractive evaluation in thalidomide embryopathy. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1992;230(2):140-9.

Miller MT, Strömland K, Ventura L, Johansson M, Bandim JM, Gillberg C. Autism associated with conditions characterized by developmental errors in early embryogenesis: a mini review. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2005 Apr-May;23(2-3):201-19.

Ekfeldt A, Carlsson GE. Dental status and oral function in an adult group of subjects with thalidomide embryopathy - a clinical and questionnaire study. Acta Odontol Scand. 2008 Oct;66(5):300-6.

Miller MT, Strömland K. The study of malformations "by the company they keep". Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1992;90:247-60; discussion 260-3.

Miller MT, Strömland K. Ocular motility in thalidomide embryopathy. J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 1991 Jan-Feb;28(1):47-54.

Ghassemi Jahani SA, Danielsson A, Karlsson J, Brisby H. Middle-aged individuals with thalidomide embryopathy have undergone few surgical limb procedures and demonstrate a high degree of physical independence. PLoS One. 2017 Oct 20;12(10):e0186388. eCollection 2017.

Miller MT. Ocular teratology. Observations, speculations, questions, principles reaffirmed. Eye (Lond). 1992;6 (Pt 2):177-80.

Miller MT, Strömland K, Ventura L, Johansson M, Bandim JM, Gillberg C. Autism with ophthalmologic malformations: the plot thickens. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2004;102:107-20; discussion 120-1.

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Thalidomide Embyopathy Swedish Study: 1987 - 2009


Contents and structure

1. Code list (21-05-21_Code list.xlsx)
Pseudonymized information on case number, sex, information about available documents and about participation in Thalidomide Archives Project (TAP) (in English).

2. Study 1 - Overview of archived material (2021-05-21_TE_Overview.xlsx)
Data on 86 individuals with TE : case number, year of birth, sex, malformation of ears, hearing, facial palsy, Duane syndrome, gaze paresis, tearing when eating and emotionally, primary position of eyes

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Version 1


Lotta Sjögreen, Kerstin Strömland. University of Gothenburg, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology (2021). <em>Thalidomide Embyopathy Swedish Study: 1987 - 2009</em>. Swedish National Data Service. Version 1. <a href=""></a>

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Data format / data structure



Still image


Creator/Principal investigator(s)

Lotta Sjögreen - University of Gothenburg, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology

Kerstin Strömland - University of Gothenburg, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology

Time period(s) investigated


Data collection 1

  • Mode of collection: Observation
  • Time period(s) for data collection: 1987–1989
  • Source of the data: Registers/Records/Accounts: Medical/Clinical, Research data: Published, Forskningsdata: Opublicerade, Population group, Geographic area

Data collection 2

  • Mode of collection: Observation
  • Time period(s) for data collection: 2007–2009
  • Source of the data: Registers/Records/Accounts: Medical/Clinical, Registers/Records/Accounts: Academic/Aptitude, Events/Interactions, Research data: Published, Population group, Geographic area

Number of individuals/objects


Published: 2021-10-26
Last updated: 2021-10-26