Send to

Choose Destination
Life Sci. 1984 Nov 19;35(21):2085-94.

Undernutrition and the development of brain neurotransmitter systems.


While there are homeostatic mechanisms to protect the brain against wide fluctuations in the availability of essential nutrients, food deprivation is known to influence brain neurochemistry. Given the growing problem of infant undernutrition and the fact that the developing nervous system appears to be especially vulnerable to this type of insult, numerous studies have been conducted to define the relationship between nutritional factors and cellular growth and maturation in the brain. The data suggest that the development of both neural and nonneural elements are significantly affected by undernutrition. This includes processes and substances important for neurotransmission such as transmitter synthesis, degradation and receptor sites. Because many neuropsychiatric conditions can be traced to dysfunctions in synaptic neurochemistry, it is possible that some of the central nervous system abnormalities which result from childhood undernutrition may be a consequence of a modification in synaptic biochemistry. The present report reviews data relating to this issue with the aim of assessing its relevance to developmental neurobiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center