[Cognitive functions of school children with normal IQ and histories of severe and early malnutrition]

Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1996 Dec;46(4):282-6.
[Article in Spanish]


This is a cross section study designed to evaluate the long lasting consequences of early and severe undernutrition on the development of basic cognitive functions. Attention, memory and problem-solving capacity were assessed in a group of 16 school children, who were severely undernourished during the first two years of age. They were compared with a group of 16 children with a normal growth. All subjects, age 8 to 10, had a normal intellectual coefficient and they belonged to the me same socioeconomical level. Memory was measured with a modified version of subtest of digits from WISC; attention was evaluated with a modified version of the Continuous Performance Task and problem-solving was measured with the Anstey Domino Test. A personal computer was used to assess the cognitive functions. The children who were undernourished during infancy presented lower scores in memory (number of the digits) and in problems solving (number of correct answers). They also had a worse performance than the control group in the same response time, when attention was evaluated. These results suggest that early severe undernutrition had deletereous effects on basic cognitive functions.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Memory
  • Nutrition Disorders*
  • Severity of Illness Index