Child psychologist & Head of the Neurocognition group, Nestlé Research, Lausanne, Switzerland
Levels of cholesterol, gangliosides and iron in breast milk are associated with early brain myelination in 3-month-old infants – preliminary findings - Dr. Nora Schneider
Myelination, the wrapping of neuronal axons with a lipid-rich sheath, is critical for information processing and normal brain functioning. Starting within the caudal brain stem before birth, myelination progresses rostrally after birth to the forebrain, with the most rapid period of human brain myelination occurring within the first 2 years of postnatal life. This pattern of myelination corresponds to emerging cognitive functions with sensory and motor functions being amongst the first to mature. While previous studies indicate early life nutrition as a relevant influencing factor for myelination, little is known about the contribution of breast milk nutrients to myelin development in human infants.
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