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Keywords:

  • behavior;
  • brain development;
  • infants;
  • iron deficiency;
  • monkeys;
  • rodents

Infants are at high risk for iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia. This review summarizes evidence of long-term effects of iron deficiency in infancy. Follow-up studies from preschool age to adolescence report poorer cognitive, motor, and social-emotional function, as well as persisting neurophysiologic differences. Research in animal models points to mechanisms for such long-lasting effects. Potential mechanisms relate to effects of iron deficiency during brain development on neurometabolism, myelination, and neurotransmitter function