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Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2019 Mar;22(2):171-180. English. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5223/pghn.2019.22.2.171
Cakir M , Senyuva S , Kul S , Sag E , Cansu A , Yucesan FB , Yaman SO , Orem A .
Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey. muratcak@hotmail.com
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey.
Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey.
Department of Pediatric Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey.
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Karadeniz Technical University, Trabzon, Turkey.
Abstract

Purpose

Malnutrition may influence neurocognitive development in children by directly affecting the brain structural development, or indirectly by affecting the children's cognition experience. Malnutrition alters the cell numbers, cell migration, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmission due to inadequate availability of necessary micronutrients to support cell growth. We aimed to analyze neurocognitive development in infants with malnutrition and its association with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), micronutrients levels and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) findings.

Methods

The study included two groups; group 1, infants with malnutrition (n=24), group 2; healthy infants (n=21). Peripheral blood was obtained from the participants for studying micronutrients and LC-PUFA levels. The neurocognitive development was analyzed by the use of an Ankara Developmental Screening Inventory test. MRS were performed on all infants.

Results

All parameters of neurocognitive development and serum calcium (9.6±0.9 mg/dL vs. 10.4±0.3 mg/dL, p < 0.05) and magnesium (2.02±0.27 mg/dL vs. 2.2±0.14 mg/dL, p < 0.05) levels were noted as being low in infants with marked malnutrition. No difference was found in LC-PUFA levels between healthy and malnourished infants. Thalamic choline/creatine levels were significantly high in infants with malnutrition (1.33±0.22 vs. 1.18±0.22, p < 0.05). Total neurocognitive development in infants was positively correlated with serum calcium levels (p < 0.05, r=0.381).

Conclusion

Calcium supplementation may improve neurocognitive development in malnourished infants.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.