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Abstract #0037

Differences in Brain Development in a High and Low Economic Setting

Sean Deoni1,2, Giang-Chau Ngo2, Muriel Bruchhage2, and Douglas Dean3

1MNCHD&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, United States, 2Pediatrics, Brown University, Providence, RI, United States, 3University of Wisconsin at Madison, Madison, WI, United States

Adverse environmental conditions throughout infancy and childhood have potential to result in neurodevelopment delays and impaired cognitive outcomes. Children born in low and middle income countries (LMICs) often experience significant malnutrition, inadequate sanitation, and are exposed to poor water and air quality, all of which can affect brain and cognitive development. However, there are limited reports of brain growth in LMICs, with cognitive development often assessed indirectly through measures of physical growth (child height and weight). Here we present the first reports of brain volume growth in children from a low resource area of India. Relative to reference brain growth charts derived from a large cohort of healthy children in Providence RI, we find significant brain growth delay, particularly amongst girls. These results shine new light on the importance of living conditions on child brain health.

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