Evolutionary Demography Seminars
Admission: Free and open to all with no ticket required. For LSHTM seminars, on arrival external visitors should report to reception, they will be escorted to the room.
Our EDG Seminars are currently being held online.
The relationship between nutrition, growth, and neurodevelopment across infancy and early childhood in The Gambia
Speaker: Samantha McCann, King’s College London
Date: Monday 19th April 2021
Time: 12.30-13.30 GMT
Zoom link: https://lshtm.zoom.us/j/97677129568
In the time between conception and a child’s second birthday, their brain grows more quickly and is more amenable to change than any other period in the life-course. This presents a window of great opportunity, in which nurturing care has life-long benefits, along with immense vulnerability, as the developmental impact of adversity is difficult to overcome. Adequate nutrition, which provides the building blocks for the developing brain, is particularly important during this window. We mapped the longitudinal relationship between infant nutrition, growth and cognitive development from birth to two years of age and explored the roles of social and environmental factors in early development among a cohort in rural Gambia, West Africa.
Results suggested that cognition in early infancy was strongly associated with nutritional factors, whereas measures in early childhood were associated with both nutrition and factors relating to the family and environment. Results specifically highlighted the importance of nutrition and growth within the first 6 months of life, suggesting the need for a renewed focus on this developmental window.
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