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From the JAMA Network
April 21, 2015

Fostering Early Brain Development

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Child and Brain Development Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA. 2015;313(15):1564-1565. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.34

It is estimated that 6.3 million children worldwide died in 2013 before attaining 5 years of age, from mostly preventable diseases.1 Within North America, nearly 1.2 million US children are homeless, more than 1 in 3 children of color younger than 5 years live in poverty, and 1 in 9 lack access to adequate food.2 Further, as many as 153 million children worldwide, ranging from infants to teenagers, have lost one or both of their parents, and 7 million are in institutional care.3 As recently as 1989, in the final year of the Ceausescu regime, about 170 000 Romanian children were being raised in state-run institutions, the result of an ill-conceived, “pro-natalist” social program designed to augment a national workforce through mandated conceptions and births.4