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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Little Rock, Arkansas » Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #217889

Title: Early diet affects the development of 3-6 Hz EEG activity in infants


Submitted to: Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2007
Publication Date: 2/13/2008
Citation: Jing, H., Pivik, R.T., Gilchrist, J.M., Badger, T.M. 2008. Early diet affects the development of 3-6 Hz EEG activity in infants [abstract]. American Clinical Neurophysiology Society. Paper No. 130.

Interpretive Summary: Brain physiological functions were compared in breast-fed, milk formula-fed, and soy formula-fed infants at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age. Differences in spectral power were found in these infants. Infants fed either milk formula or soy formula had higher spectral power than breast-fed infants at 6 months. Similar group difference was again observed at 9 months in girls and at 12 months in boys. Developmental dissimilarity across age was also present in these infants. These results suggest a dietary effect during infancy.

Technical Abstract: This longitudinal study investigated whether diet affects brain physiological functions during infancy. Power spectra (3-6 Hz) of electroencephalographic signals (high density recordings) in the bilateral prefrontal, frontal, central, parietal, occipital, anterior temporal, mid-temporal, and posterior temporal areas were evaluated in infants (breast-fed or fed milk-based or soy-based forumla; 20 males and 20 females per group) who were followed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of age. Data were examined using ANOVA. Both male and female breast-fed infants showed a biphasic change in the spectral power across age (highest at 9 months), but boys in both formula groups had the highest spectral power at 12 months. While infants in the two formula groups had similar spectral power at each age, the spectral power for these groups was greater than that of breast-fed infants at 6 and 12 months (particularly in frontocentral areas, p<0.05). Our results suggest that the development of EEG activities in the 3-6 Hz band is similar in infants fed milk-based and soy-based infant formulas, but the underlying mechanisms for this development appears to be different in breast-fed infants. Understanding the neurophysiological basis for these differences will require further study.