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November 1970

Biological Correlations

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Pediatrics, Cornell University Medical College, New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1970;120(5):416-418. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1970.02100100080006

At the present time, data from a number of sources, much of which have been reviewed here, strongly indict undernutrition during a critical developmental period as one agent which can cause retardation in brain growth and ultimate development of brain function. However, data are lacking which try to correlate the biochemical changes observed in the brains of malnourished animals, or children who die of malnutrition, with the functional changes observed in these same animals or similar children who survive a period of severe malnutrition during early infancy. Such a correlation will not allow us to make any statements about the "cause" of the functional change. Indeed, I rather doubt that the "state of the art" is far enough advanced to relate a functional change to a single biochemical event in a way which will elucidate whether that biochemical event is producing that change. However, I think by both pooling the