G. A. Clugston
Department of Human Nutrition, England.
Garyounis Medical Journal Vol. 3, No.2. July 1980:41-49
Malnutrition can affect the growing fetus from early in the 3rd trimester of intrauterine life, and from this time onwards it can damage the development processes that make up the brain growth spurt. Depending on the onset, duration, and severity of the malnutrition, the brain’s regions and their basic structural components are affected differently, because each region and component has its own strictly timed growth phase. Brain weight can be reduced, and the processes of glial cell proliferation, myelination, and dendrite arborisation marhedly impaired. The significance of these effects on intelligence is completely unknown. But it does appear that children who were malnourished in early life, do have significant delay in their intellectual development, although this improves with age. Environmental stimulation plays a vital role, because it can moderate the impact of malnutrition on I.Q., whilst without it in a deprived unstimulating environment, the effect of malnutrition on I.Q. seems to be multiplied.
Keywords: The Effects of Malnutrition on Brain Growth and Intellectual Development