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Can Iron Deficiency Cause Attention and Recognition Deficits?

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Iron-deficiency anaemia (IDA) affects approximately 1 to 2 billion people worldwide, primarily women and children. Although the prevalence of IDA has noticeably declined in U.S. infants, low-income, minority, and immigrant infants and toddlers remain at increased risk.

In the study, “An Event-Related Potential Study of Attention and Recognition Memory in Infants With Iron-Deficiency Anemia,” researchers studied 15 infants with IDA and 19 infants who were iron sufficient. Both groups were tested on their ability to differentiate their mother’s face from a stranger’s face. The iron-sufficient infants showed greater attention and recognition responses to the mother at 9 months of age, but the infants with IDA did not show this pattern until 12 months, suggesting a delay in cognitive development. The authors say additional studies are needed to assess the degree to which the delay in cognitive development seen in infants with IDA may affect their long-term development.(Source: Pediatrics : American Academy of Pediatrics : August 2007)

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Posted On: 21 August, 2007
Modified On: 16 January, 2014

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