Neurobiological Implications of Early Life Protein Energy Malnutrition

Food insecurity and consequent malnutrition aid the indigent mankind, particularly the children, inhabiting the underdeveloped countries like India .The early part of life beginning from the onset of second trimester of gestation, is fraught with possibilities of lasting deviations in the development of nervous system. A similar vulnerability of the nervous system has been replicated in experimental models ,who seem to be more appropriate for studying isolated effects of protein and or caloric under-nutrition with an excellent manipulative and scheduling control .Peripheral nerve and muscle dearrangements are clinically evident by weakness ,hypotonia and hyporeflexia in accordance with severity and duration of protein energy malnutrition (PEM ) .The sural nerve histology of PEM children reveals a variegated spectrum of changes including reduced diameter of my eliminated fibers ,retardation of myelination ,impaired elongation of internodes ,increased variability of inter-modal length ,segmental demyelination and remyelination ,and occasional Wallerian degeneration .Similar changes have been observed in rodent and primate experimental model .Skeletal muscle tissue abnormalities include obliterations of cross-striations ,streaming of Z bands ,increased interfibrillary spaces ,paucity of sarcoplasm ,mitochondriomegaly ,degeneration of muscle fibres and small for age fibres .Radioisotope assnys display deficient incorporation into various nerve and muscle constituents including myelin lipids and cellular respiratory enzymes respectively disturbances in ontogency of brain have been documented ,based on certain cited parameters of development ,including dendritic and synaptic morphologic anomalies as observed by Golgi impregnation method .neurotransmitter concentration deviations have been observed in rodent paragigms . Neuropsychological electrophysiological, and neurochemical abnormalities are also reviewed.


What is he whose grief bears such an emphasis? Whose phase of sorrow conjures the wandering stars and make the stand

Like wonder wounded bearers (Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1)

The foregoing analects of Shakespeare would perhaps draw up, with an analogous poignant veracity, the caricature of a helpless undernourished child.