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Supporting brain maturation and neuronal connectivity

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Brain development and maturation can be profoundly influenced by diet. Nutrients including the unsaturated omega-3 fatty acid DHA modulate key steps of neuronal differentiation, including the formation of synapses and visual system development. Yet, very limited information is available on the specific roles of nutrients and natural compounds in synapse development and refinement. In an applied research program, we use cellular models for measuring nutrient effects on neuronal development. In addition, we define nutrient effects on neuronal connectivity and the maturation of cortical function in the developing postnatal brain. These studies are complementary to our basic research program. We have already identified compounds that are beneficial for synapse development and cortical maturation.

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