RECOVERY FROM MALNUTRITION - COGNITION AND BEHAVIOR
Environmental stimulation can remediate the behavioral and cognitive effects of malnutrition and is probably more effective than achieving optimal nutrition. Environmental stimulation long after an acute period of malnutrition may modify or diminish some behavioral changes. Home visitors and other low-cost enrichment programs improve the developmental scores of children after malnutrition, although the sustainability of these benefits is controversial. Although low-birth weight children are more likely to experience learning difficulties and attentional problems as adolescents, recent work demonstrates that cognitive function improves over time (years) in very low-birth weight infants; this may provide a model for other high-risk conditions in early life. Adequacy of catch-up growth determines neurodevelopmental outcome in very low-birth weight infants; similar studies have not yet been reported after early malnutrition.