Special Issue "Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Clinical Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Josefa Canals Sans
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Interests: child psychiatry; neurodevelopment; epidemiology
Dr. M. Victoria Arija Val
Website
Guest Editor
Nutrition and Public Health Unit, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
Interests: pregnancy; iron; nutrition; epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue of Nutrients, we would like to bring together papers dealing with the topic of the effect of maternal nutrition on the cognitive development of their children.

The intrauterine environment and, specifically, the nutritional status of the mother is a crucial factor which implies short- and long-term consequences on the health and disease risk in their offspring. The fetal brain is very vulnerable, whereby nutritional alterations in pregnancy play a role on fetal programming of the brain’s development and the consequent cognitive function.

Although the beneficial effects of an adequate nutritional status in pregnancy have been an object of study over the last decade, many questions such as the most vulnerable periods of pregnancy and the recommendations in the population that may improve the cognitive development remain open.

In broad terms, the study of maternal nutrition may include issues about nutrient (macronutrient and micronutrient) or food intake, dietary patterns, anthropometric measures, as well as nutritional biomarkers or nutritional interventions. These topics must be related with cognitive outcomes in the children, which may include the terms of cognitive function, mental development, executive functions, neurodevelopment, or attention, among others.

We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr.  Josefa Canals Sans
Dr.  M. Victoria Arija Val
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Maternal nutrition
  • Child cognitive function
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Pregnancy

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Sex-Specific Anxiety and Prefrontal Cortex Glutamatergic Dysregulation Are Long-Term Consequences of Pre-and Postnatal Exposure to Hypercaloric Diet in a Rat Model
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1829; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061829 - 19 Jun 2020
Abstract
Both maternal and early life malnutrition can cause long-term behavioral changes in the offspring, which depends on the caloric availability and the timing of the exposure. Here we investigated in a rat model whether a high-caloric palatable diet given to the mother and/or [...] Read more.
Both maternal and early life malnutrition can cause long-term behavioral changes in the offspring, which depends on the caloric availability and the timing of the exposure. Here we investigated in a rat model whether a high-caloric palatable diet given to the mother and/or to the offspring during the perinatal and/or postnatal period might dysregulate emotional behavior and prefrontal cortex function in the offspring at adult age. To this end, we examined both anxiety responses and the mRNA/protein expression of glutamatergic, GABAergic and endocannabinoid signaling pathways in the prefrontal cortex of adult offspring. Male animals born from mothers fed the palatable diet, and who continued with this diet after weaning, exhibited anxiety associated with an overexpression of the mRNA of Grin1, Gria1 and Grm5 glutamate receptors in the prefrontal cortex. In addition, these animals had a reduced expression of the endocannabinoid system, the main inhibitory retrograde input to glutamate synapses, reflected in a decrease of the Cnr1 receptor and the Nape-pld enzyme. In conclusion, a hypercaloric maternal diet induces sex-dependent anxiety, associated with alterations in both glutamatergic and cannabinoid signaling in the prefrontal cortex, which are accentuated with the continuation of the palatable diet during the life of the offspring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Role of Iron in Brain Development: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 2001; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12072001 - 05 Jul 2020
Abstract
One-third of children falter in cognitive development by pre-school age. Iron plays an important role in many neurodevelopmental processes, and animal studies suggest that iron sufficiency in pregnancy and infancy is particularly important for neurodevelopment. However, it is not clear whether iron deficiency [...] Read more.
One-third of children falter in cognitive development by pre-school age. Iron plays an important role in many neurodevelopmental processes, and animal studies suggest that iron sufficiency in pregnancy and infancy is particularly important for neurodevelopment. However, it is not clear whether iron deficiency directly impacts developmental outcomes, and, if so, whether impact differs by timing of exposure or developmental domain. We searched four databases for studies on iron deficiency or iron supplementation in pregnancy, or at 0–6 months, 6–24 months, or 2–4 years of age. All studies included neurodevelopmental assessments in infants or children up to 4 years old. We then qualitatively synthesized the literature. There was no clear relationship between iron status and developmental outcomes across any of the time windows or domains included. We identified a large quantity of low-quality studies, significant heterogeneity in study design and a lack of research focused on pregnancy and early infancy. In summary, despite good mechanistic evidence for the role of iron in brain development, evidence for the impact of iron deficiency or iron supplementation on early development is inconsistent. Further high-quality research is needed, particularly within pregnancy and early infancy, which has previously been neglected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
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Open AccessReview
Choline, Neurological Development and Brain Function: A Systematic Review Focusing on the First 1000 Days
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1731; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061731 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
The foundations of neurodevelopment across an individual’s lifespan are established in the first 1000 days of life (2 years). During this period an adequate supply of nutrients are essential for proper neurodevelopment and lifelong brain function. Of these, evidence for choline has been [...] Read more.
The foundations of neurodevelopment across an individual’s lifespan are established in the first 1000 days of life (2 years). During this period an adequate supply of nutrients are essential for proper neurodevelopment and lifelong brain function. Of these, evidence for choline has been building but has not been widely collated using systematic approaches. Therefore, a systematic review was performed to identify the animal and human studies looking at inter-relationships between choline, neurological development, and brain function during the first 1000 days of life. The database PubMed was used, and reference lists were searched. In total, 813 publications were subject to the title/abstract review, and 38 animal and 16 human studies were included after evaluation. Findings suggest that supplementing the maternal or child’s diet with choline over the first 1000 days of life could subsequently: (1) support normal brain development (animal and human evidence), (2) protect against neural and metabolic insults, particularly when the fetus is exposed to alcohol (animal and human evidence), and (3) improve neural and cognitive functioning (animal evidence). Overall, most offspring would benefit from increased choline supply during the first 1000 days of life, particularly in relation to helping facilitate normal brain development. Health policies and guidelines should consider re-evaluation to help communicate and impart potential choline benefits through diet and/or supplementation approaches across this critical life stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Maternal Nutrition on Cognitive Function of Children)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

  • Michelle Murphy, Preventive Medicine and Public Health Unit, Universitat Rovira i Virgili , [email protected] , topics: homocysteine, pregnancy, folic acid.
  • Cristina Campoy Folgoso, Pediatric Departament, Universidad de Granada, [email protected], topics: nutrition, children, neurodevelopment, pregnancy.
  • Monica Guxens, Barcelona Institute for Global Health , Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, [email protected] , topics: toxics, nutrition, epidemiology, children

Title: homocysteine, pregnancy, folic acid.
Authors: Michelle Murphy
Affiliation: Preventive Medicine and Public Health Unit, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Abstract: homocysteine, pregnancy, folic acid.

Title: nutrition, children, neurodevelopment, pregnancy.
Authors: Cristina Campoy Folgoso
Affiliation: Pediatric Departament, Universidad de Granada

Title: toxics, nutrition, epidemiology, children
Authors: Monica Guxens
Affiliation: Barcelona Institute for Global Health , Barcelona Biomedical Research Park

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