Author(s): Ramakrishna T
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Abstract Effects of deficiency of vitamins on early development of brain have been reviewed. Unusual developmental problems in neurogenesis specific for the brain and impairment of its functional capacities due to vitamin deficiency have been discussed. The species-specific "critical periods" in development of various systems have been mentioned. Indices such as reflex activity, locomotion, special senses, cognition and adaptive behavior were used for assessing brain maturation in experimental models and humans. Significant examples include brain anomalies in humans and other mammals caused by retinoid excess or deficit; increase in calbindin D28K, a vitamin D dependent calcium-binding protein during postnatal period in rat; hydrocephalus and exencephaly in prenatal rats and subarachnoidal or intracerebral hemorrhage in infants caused by vitamin E deficiency. Peripheral neuropathic lesions leading to infantile beriberi is caused by thiamine deficiency. Impaired growth in retinal layers leading to delay in maturation of electroretinogram and depth-perception in postnatal rats occur due to pyridoxine deficiency. Infants of severely vitamin B12 deficient mothers show abnormalities in behavior involving basal ganglia and pyramidal tract. Folic acid deficiency results in delayed maturation of the basic electroencepalographic patterns. In addition, vitamin-interactions leading to developmental errors have been pointed out. Vitamin B6 deficiency impairs vitamin B12 absorption and biotin deficiency may be aggravated by pantothenic acid deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency resulting in impaired metabolism may produce symptoms of deficiency of folic acid. Another characteristic examples is that iron absorption from dietary sources is dependent on ascorbic acid.
This article was published in Physiol Res
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy