Babies' brain development may not depend on sleeping through the night (NEW!)

Infants who don’t sleep through the night don’t seem to be at higher risk for cognitive or motor development problems, a Canadian study suggests.

Regular omega-3 intake during pregnancy could boost baby brain and vision

Women could enhance the development of their unborn child's eyesight and brain function by regularly eating omega-3 rich fatty fish during pregnancy, say researchers from Finland. 

Omega-3s associated with better executive function in cohort of young children

Young children with the highest levels of omega-3s in their blood outperformed their peers on a measure of executive function, according to new research conducted in West Africa. The recent study looked at children aged 2 to 6 years old in Ghana. Researchers from Michigan State University...

Maternal omega-3 rich-diet linked to improved infant problem solving

The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids were highlighted again in a Norwegian study that demonstrates the positive effect a maternal diet rich in the oil can have on a child’s problem-solving abilities. The researcher’s findings suggest that a mother’s intake of the omega-3 fatty acid...

UNC launches new study to uncover nutritional impacts on early brain development (NEW!)

Scientists at UNC and UMN embarked on the Baby Connectome Project (BCP), a groundbreaking NIH study launched in 2016 designed to quantitatively map human brain connectivity from birth through...

Stress hormone may be ‘middle man’ in gut-brain communication

The stress hormone cortisol appears to mediate the link between a common type of gut bacteria and the levels of an abundant brain metabolite, according to a recent animal study in Gut Microbes. The relationship between the abundancy of the bacterial genus Ruminococcus and brain concentration of...

Influence of Nutrition on Longitudinal Brain Development and Cognitive Growth (NEW!)

Differences in infant feeding have been shown to be linked to differences in myelination and cognitive outcomes.

Prenatal lack of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids linked to schizophrenic symptoms in mice

Researchers have discovered a process through which changes in nutrition during early mouse pregnancy lead to offspring that develop schizophrenic-like symptoms as adults. The study shows how deprivation of two polyunsaturated fatty acids during early gestation can have long lasting effects on...

The Learning Lead - Volume 5, Issue 1 2017 - The Effect of Myelin-Relevant Nutrients on Brain Myelination and Cognitive Development (NEW!)

The association between brain development and nutrition has been gaining attention due to emerging evidence on the detrimental effect of nutritional deficiencies on cognitive functioning in infants.

Early weight gain in pregnancy correlates with childhood obesity, first study of its size shows

Weight gain in early pregnancy has the greatest impact on infant size at birth, according to a new study published today in Obesity. The study is the largest ever analysis of the effect that weight gain in early pregnancy has on infant size.
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The Learning Lead

Early Life Nutrition May Influence Developmental Myelination and Cognition

Previous studies have shown both the differences in myelination between exclusively breastfed and exclusively formula-fed infants. This  milestone publication also looks at how the varying...

Videos

Everyone's talking about human milk oligosaccharides (NEW!)

The early-life gut microbiome is important for the development of immune competence in newborn infants. Mode of delivery, perinatal antibiotic use and diet are most influential to this end....

Publications

Low Birth Weight Tied to Later-Life Diabetes

Two large prospective cohort studies from Shanghai, China showed that the risk of type 2 diabetes was higher among both men and women of low birthweight later in life, with a trend toward increased...