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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 3, 2013

Neuroprotective actions of perinatal choline nutrition

  • Jan Krzysztof Blusztajn EMAIL logo and Tiffany J. Mellott


Choline is an essential nutrient for humans. Studies in rats and mice have shown that high choline intake during gestation or the perinatal period improves cognitive function in adulthood, prevents memory decline of old age, and protects the brain from damage and cognitive and neurological deterioration associated with epilepsy and hereditary conditions such as Down’s and Rett syndromes. These behavioral changes are accompanied by modified patterns of expression of hundreds of cortical and hippocampal genes including those encoding proteins central for learning and memory processing. The effects of choline correlate with cerebral cortical changes in DNA and histone methylation, thus suggesting an epigenomic mechanism of action of perinatal choline.

Corresponding author: Jan Krzysztof Blusztajn, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA

Some of the studies reviewed here were supported by NIH grants AG009525 and CA120488 to JKB.

Conflict of interest statement

Authors’ conflict of interest disclosure: The authors stated that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.


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Received: 2012-9-20
Accepted: 2012-11-26
Published Online: 2013-01-03
Published in Print: 2013-03-01

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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