Long-term brain and behavioral consequences of early iron deficiency

Nutr Rev. 2011 Nov;69 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S43-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00432.x.


Early iron deficiency not only affects brain and behavioral function during the period of iron deficiency, it persists long after treatment. The mechanisms include long-term alterations in dopamine metabolism, myelination, and hippocampal structure and function. Recent studies have demonstrated long-term genomic changes, which suggests the regulation of brain function is fundamentally altered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / pathology*
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Animal
  • Postnatal Care
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Time Factors


  • Dopamine