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Cognitive development in children with chronic protein energy malnutrition.

Kar BR, Rao SL, Chandramouli BA - Behav Brain Funct (2008)

Bottom Line: Malnutrition is associated with both structural and functional pathology of the brain.NIMHANS neuropsychological battery for children sensitive to the effects of brain dysfunction and age related improvement was employed.Stunting could result in slowing in the age related improvement in certain and not all higher order cognitive processes and may also result in long lasting cognitive impairments.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, Psychology Building, University of Allahabad, Allahabad, 211001, U,P,, India. bhoomika2000@yahoo.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Malnutrition is associated with both structural and functional pathology of the brain. A wide range of cognitive deficits has been reported in malnourished children. Effect of chronic protein energy malnutrition (PEM) causing stunting and wasting in children could also affect the ongoing development of higher cognitive processes during childhood (>5 years of age). The present study examined the effect of stunted growth on the rate of development of cognitive processes using neuropsychological measures.

Methods: Twenty children identified as malnourished and twenty as adequately nourished in the age groups of 5-7 years and 8-10 years were examined. NIMHANS neuropsychological battery for children sensitive to the effects of brain dysfunction and age related improvement was employed. The battery consisted of tests of motor speed, attention, visuospatial ability, executive functions, comprehension and learning and memory

Results: Development of cognitive processes appeared to be governed by both age and nutritional status. Malnourished children performed poor on tests of attention, working memory, learning and memory and visuospatial ability except on the test of motor speed and coordination. Age related improvement was not observed on tests of design fluency, working memory, visual construction, learning and memory in malnourished children. However, age related improvement was observed on tests of attention, visual perception, and verbal comprehension in malnourished children even though the performance was deficient as compared to the performance level of adequately nourished children.

Conclusion: Chronic protein energy malnutrition (stunting) affects the ongoing development of higher cognitive processes during childhood years rather than merely showing a generalized cognitive impairment. Stunting could result in slowing in the age related improvement in certain and not all higher order cognitive processes and may also result in long lasting cognitive impairments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Age related comparisons between adequately nourished and malnourished children on verbal and visual memory. Note: VM: verbal memory; VisM: visual memory; AN: adequately nourished; MN: malnourished
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Figure 6: Age related comparisons between adequately nourished and malnourished children on verbal and visual memory. Note: VM: verbal memory; VisM: visual memory; AN: adequately nourished; MN: malnourished

Mentions: Data was further subjected to post hoc analysis to compare the two groups across the two age groups to study the rate of improvement with age (Table 2). In both the age groups of 5–7 years and 8–10 years the adequately nourished children performed better than the malnourished children. Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 indicate age related improvement in performance across different cognitive functions in adequately nourished children as compared to malnourished children. Motor speed and coordination was not significantly affected in malnourished children as compared to the adequately nourished children (figure 1). The rate of age related improvement across the two age groups was found rapid on certain functions like selective attention (figure 2) and verbal fluency (figure 3) in malnourished children. However, working memory, design fluency, visuospatial functions, comprehension, learning, and memory showed slowing in terms of age related improvement in malnourished children. Most of the cognitive functions like design fluency (figure 3), working memory (figure 3), Visual perception (figure 4), visuo-conceptual reasoning (figure 4), visual construction (figure 4), verbal comprehension (figure 5), verbal and visual memory (figures 6) have shown a very slow rate of improvement with respect to the difference in performance between the two age groups of 5–7 and 8–10 years. On the contrary functions like verbal fluency (figure 3), motor speed (figures 1), and selective attention (figure 2) showed similar rates of improvement in adequately nourished children and malnourished children while comparing the two age groups.


Cognitive development in children with chronic protein energy malnutrition.

Kar BR, Rao SL, Chandramouli BA - Behav Brain Funct (2008)

Age related comparisons between adequately nourished and malnourished children on verbal and visual memory. Note: VM: verbal memory; VisM: visual memory; AN: adequately nourished; MN: malnourished
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2519065&req=5

Figure 6: Age related comparisons between adequately nourished and malnourished children on verbal and visual memory. Note: VM: verbal memory; VisM: visual memory; AN: adequately nourished; MN: malnourished
Mentions: Data was further subjected to post hoc analysis to compare the two groups across the two age groups to study the rate of improvement with age (Table 2). In both the age groups of 5–7 years and 8–10 years the adequately nourished children performed better than the malnourished children. Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 indicate age related improvement in performance across different cognitive functions in adequately nourished children as compared to malnourished children. Motor speed and coordination was not significantly affected in malnourished children as compared to the adequately nourished children (figure 1). The rate of age related improvement across the two age groups was found rapid on certain functions like selective attention (figure 2) and verbal fluency (figure 3) in malnourished children. However, working memory, design fluency, visuospatial functions, comprehension, learning, and memory showed slowing in terms of age related improvement in malnourished children. Most of the cognitive functions like design fluency (figure 3), working memory (figure 3), Visual perception (figure 4), visuo-conceptual reasoning (figure 4), visual construction (figure 4), verbal comprehension (figure 5), verbal and visual memory (figures 6) have shown a very slow rate of improvement with respect to the difference in performance between the two age groups of 5–7 and 8–10 years. On the contrary functions like verbal fluency (figure 3), motor speed (figures 1), and selective attention (figure 2) showed similar rates of improvement in adequately nourished children and malnourished children while comparing the two age groups.

Bottom Line: Malnutrition is associated with both structural and functional pathology of the brain.NIMHANS neuropsychological battery for children sensitive to the effects of brain dysfunction and age related improvement was employed.Stunting could result in slowing in the age related improvement in certain and not all higher order cognitive processes and may also result in long lasting cognitive impairments.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, Psychology Building, University of Allahabad, Allahabad, 211001, U,P,, India. bhoomika2000@yahoo.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: Malnutrition is associated with both structural and functional pathology of the brain. A wide range of cognitive deficits has been reported in malnourished children. Effect of chronic protein energy malnutrition (PEM) causing stunting and wasting in children could also affect the ongoing development of higher cognitive processes during childhood (>5 years of age). The present study examined the effect of stunted growth on the rate of development of cognitive processes using neuropsychological measures.

Methods: Twenty children identified as malnourished and twenty as adequately nourished in the age groups of 5-7 years and 8-10 years were examined. NIMHANS neuropsychological battery for children sensitive to the effects of brain dysfunction and age related improvement was employed. The battery consisted of tests of motor speed, attention, visuospatial ability, executive functions, comprehension and learning and memory

Results: Development of cognitive processes appeared to be governed by both age and nutritional status. Malnourished children performed poor on tests of attention, working memory, learning and memory and visuospatial ability except on the test of motor speed and coordination. Age related improvement was not observed on tests of design fluency, working memory, visual construction, learning and memory in malnourished children. However, age related improvement was observed on tests of attention, visual perception, and verbal comprehension in malnourished children even though the performance was deficient as compared to the performance level of adequately nourished children.

Conclusion: Chronic protein energy malnutrition (stunting) affects the ongoing development of higher cognitive processes during childhood years rather than merely showing a generalized cognitive impairment. Stunting could result in slowing in the age related improvement in certain and not all higher order cognitive processes and may also result in long lasting cognitive impairments.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus