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Improved Cognitive Development Among Preterm Infants Attributable to Early Supplementation of Human Milk With Docosahexaenoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid

  • Christine Henriksen
  • Kristin Haugholt
  • Magnus Lindgren
  • Anne Karin Aurvåg
  • Arild Rønnestad
  • Morten Grønn
  • Rønnaug Solberg
  • Atle Moen
  • Britt Nakstad
  • Rolf Kristian Berge
  • Lars Smith
  • Per Ole Iversen
  • Christian André Drevon
Publiceringsår: 2008
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1137-1145
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Pediatrics
Volym: 121
Nummer: 6
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: American Academy of Pediatrics


OBJECTIVE. The objective of our study was to evaluate the effect of supplementation

with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid for human milk-fed preterm infants.

The primary end point was cognitive development at 6 months of age.

METHODS. The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study among

141 infants with birth weights of <1500 g. The intervention with 32 mg of docosahexaenoic

acid and 31 mg of arachidonic acid per 100 mL of human milk started 1

week after birth and lasted until discharge from the hospital (on average, 9 weeks).

Cognitive development was evaluated at 6 months of age by using the Ages and

Stages Questionnaire and event-related potentials, a measure of brain correlates

related to recognition memory.

RESULTS. There was no difference in adverse events or growth between the 2 groups. At

the 6-month follow-up evaluation, the intervention group performed better on the

problem-solving subscore, compared with the control group (53.4 vs 49.5 points).

There was also a nonsignificant higher total score (221 vs 215 points). The eventrelated

potential data revealed that infants in the intervention group had significantly

lower responses after the standard image, compared with the control group

(8.6 vs 13.2). There was no difference in responses to novel images.

CONCLUSIONS. Supplementation with docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid for

very preterm infants fed human milk in the early neonatal period was associated

with better recognition memory and higher problem-solving scores at 6 months


  • Pediatrics
  • very low birth weight
  • preterm infants
  • human milk
  • fatty acids
  • developmental outcomes


  • ISSN: 1098-4275

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