Neurodevelopment in Children Born Small for Gestational Age

A Randomized Trial of Nutrient-Enriched Versus Standard Formula and Comparison With a Reference Breastfed Group

Objective. Many studies have shown that children born small for gestational age (SGA) are at a neurodevelopmental disadvantage. We have shown that nutrient enrichment of formula fed to term SGA infants improves their growth and hypothesized that it also would improve their neurodevelopmental outcome.

Conclusions. The previously reported enhanced linear growth in SGA children fed enriched formula was not matched by a neurodevelopmental advantage. At 9 months, girls fed the enriched formula had a significant developmental disadvantage, although this was not seen at 18 months. Later follow-up will determine any long-term effects on health or development. Meanwhile, use of enriched formula for term SGA children should not be promoted.

It seems that breastfeeding may be especially beneficial for neurodevelopment in children born SGA.
PEDIATRICS Vol. 113 No. 3 March 2004, pp. 515-521

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