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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1984 Feb;26(1):56-61.

Pilot study to assess behavioural and cognitive effects of artificial food colours in a group of retarded children.


A total of 10 institutionalised children were maintained on an additive-free diet for two weeks, followed by two weeks in which two high, consecutive doses of artificial food colours were administered orally in a placebo-masked, double-blind experimental design. Measures of short-term verbal learning, visuomotor skills and actometer measures of limb activity, together with behavioural rating scales completed by teachers and care staff, all indicated the absence of any adverse behavioural or cognitive effect.

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