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July 1996

Infantile Colic

Author Affiliations

1831 Forest Hills Blvd Cleveland, OH 44112

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(7):770-771. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170320116026

Neurobiologic features of infantile colic manifested by paroxysms of high-pitched screaming attacks in the evening for no apparent reason1 are suggested by reports linking dysregulation of the brain-gut axis and mood to dopamine abnormalities lateralized to the right hemisphere.2 This hypothesis is supported by the importance of dopamine in the control of wakefulness manifested by a reduction of reaction time and gap frequency, reflecting properties of neuronal activity and firing. It is also supported by optimal response organization at intermediate dopamine tone in a medial-frontal-striatal activation system, deactivation of the right hemisphere, a state marker of depression, promoting dominance of the left hemisphere associated with vocalization and violence,3-5 and by findings that low serum cholesterol concentration may reduce serotonin inhibition of dopamine, leading to anger attacks in children with eating disorders.3,4,6,7 These findings prompt neurochemical and pharmacologic investigations3,4 of the role of asymmetric brain functions