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Long-Lasting Neural and Behavioral Effects of Iron Deficiency in Infancy

Betsy Lozoff , John Beard , James Connor , Barbara Felt , Michael Georgieff , Timothy Schallert
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00243.x S34-S43 First published online: 1 May 2006


Infants are at high risk for iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia. This review summarizes evidence of long-term effects of iron deficiency in infancy. Follow-up studies from preschool age to adolescence report poorer cognitive, motor, and social-emotional function, as well as persisting neurophysiologic differences. Research in animal models points to mechanisms for such long-lasting effects. Potential mechanisms relate to effects of iron deficiency during brain development on neurometabolism, myelination, and neurotransmitter function

  • behavior
  • brain development
  • infants
  • iron deficiency
  • monkeys
  • rodents