"Can nutritional supplements help mentally retarded children? an exploratory study."

MS marshmallow5 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 7 11:08:11 EST 2001


Any thoughts on this research? Highly reputable journal, optimistic results,
but there doesn't seem to be any follow up...


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1981 Jan;78(1):574-8
Can nutritional supplements help mentally retarded children? an exploratory
study.
Harrell RF, Capp RH, Davis DR, Peerless J, Ravitz LR

To explore the hypothesis that mental retardations are in part genetotrophic
diseases (diseases in which the genetic pattern of the afflicted individual
requires an augmented supply of one or more nutrients such that when these
nutrients are adequately supplied the disease is ameliorated), we carried
out a partially double-blind experiment with 16 retarded children (initial
IQs, approximately 17-70) of school age who wee given nutritional
supplements or placebos during a period of 8 months. The supplement
contained 8 minerals in moderate amounts and 11 vitamins, mostly in
relatively large amounts. During the first 4- month period (double-blind)
the 5 children who received supplements increased their average IQ by
5.0-9.6, depending on the investigator, whereas the 11 subjects given
placebos showed negligible change. The difference between these two groups
is statistically significant (P less than 0.05). During the second period,
the subjects who had been given placebos in the first study received
supplements; they showed an average IQ increase of at least 10.2, a highly
significant gain (P less than 0.001). Three of the five subjects who were
given supplements for both periods showed additional IQ gains during the
second 4 months. Three of four children with Down syndrome gained between 10
and 25 units in IQ and also showed physical changes toward normal. Other
evidence suggests that the supplement improved visual acuity in two children
and increased growth rates. These results support the hypothesis that mental
retardations are in part genetotrophic in origin.










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