Journal Article

Vitamin E Deficiency and Associated Neurological Deficits in Children with Protein-energy Malnutrition

V. Kalra, J. Grover, G. K. Ahuja, S. Rathi and D. S. Khurana

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 44, issue 5, pages 291-295
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/44.5.291
Vitamin E Deficiency and Associated Neurological Deficits in Children with Protein-energy Malnutrition

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Vitamin E is important in maintaining normal neurological structure and function. In this study, 100 children with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) were studied and compared to a suitably agematched control group. Posterior column deficits, cerebellar deficits, and problems with fine motor coordination were present to a significant degree in the PEM subjects. The presence of neurological signs was correlated with various parameters of vitamin E deficiency, including low serum α tocopherol levels and a low tocopherol/total lipid ratio which was present in 92 per cent of subjects. There was good concordance between vitamin E levels and vitamin E to serum lipid ratio in assessing vitamin E deficiency. We conclude that vitamin E deficiency is prevalent, to a hitherto unsuspected degree, in children with PEM and that these malnourished children have significant neurological deficits attributable to low vitamin E levels. This observation is of clinical significance as the neurological deficits are potentially reversible with vitamin E supplementation.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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