Poverty Retards Brain Development

HHS Healthbeat (11-12-13)

Researchers say poverty can interfere with a child’s brain growth. Brain scans on 145 8 to 12-year-olds showed that poor children tended to have smaller hippocampuses, important in learning and memory – possibly from stresses of poverty on the developing brain. The same study showed that nurturing parents could partially compensate for this deficiency.

According to Dr. Scheele, this study shows that poor dietary and environmental conditions have adverse effects on brain development, particularly in the Hippocampus, which promotes learning and memory. This finding suggests that Factor4 Health might benefit brain development in poor communities and further suggests that adding Factor4 Dietary Health to the Food Stamp Program would greatly help to offset health disparities in economic-challenged communities across America.

The study was conducted by child psychiatrist Joan Luby of Washington University School of Medicine and published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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