Neurological Development

Julian G. Mercer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


For clear ethical and medical reasons, consideration of the importance of diet in neurological development in humans is largely limited to describing outcomes following unplanned and uncontrolled nutritional insults. Brain development could be influenced at either macroscopic or microscopic levels through the influence of prenatal factors on neural tube formation or cell migration, and by prenatal, neonatal or subsequent events during childhood or adolescence influencing myelination or synapse formation. Brain circuits that contribute to the regulation of mammalian energy balance are widely distributed. The developed brain monitors physiological and metabolic events in the rest of the body through feedback from peripheral hormones and metabolites, augmented by afferent nerve signalling. There is growing evidence that nutrition during the fetal and neonatal periods influences brain function in later life. Programming mechanisms linking nutritional or other challenges to functional endpoints may involve epigenetic changes and glucocorticoid exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNutrition and Development
Subtitle of host publicationShort- and Long-Term Consequences for Health
EditorsBritish Nutrition Foundation , Judith L. Buttriss
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781118782972
ISBN (Print)9781444336788
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2013


  • Brain energy balance circuits
  • Developing brain
  • Neurological development
  • Nutritional influences
  • Nutritional interventions
  • Peripheral feedback signals
  • Programming mechanisms


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurological Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this