Association between Serum Ferritin and Cognitive Function in Early Childhood

Published:November 01, 2019DOI:
      In infants 1-3 years of age, we found higher serum ferritin values associated with higher cognitive function, as measured by the Mullen Scales of Early Learning ( P = .02 for the nonlinear relationship). A serum ferritin of 17 μg/L corresponded to the maximum level of cognition, beyond which there was no meaningful improvement.

      Trial registration NCT01481766 and NCT01869530.



      ELC ( Early Learning Composite), IDA ( Iron deficiency anemia), IS ( Iron sufficiency), NAID ( Nonanemic iron deficiency)
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      Linked Article

      • Iron, ketone bodies, and brain development
        The Journal of PediatricsVol. 222
        • In Brief
          Iron deficiency is deleterious in early life brain development and a risk for short- and long-term cognitive, motor, and socioemotional impairment.1,2 Parkin et al recently reported that increasing serum ferritin values, up to a level of 17 μg/L, were correlated with higher cognitive function in infants of 1-3 years of age.3 Here, we address another aspect of the role of iron deficiency in brain development in relation to ketone bodies as an energy source for brain metabolism.
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