From birth to the age of 3 a child sees the fastest rate of brain development of his entire life span.

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A healthy
brain development

The brain undergoes an amazing period of development after birth with the progressivematuration of the brain giving rise to theacquisition of psychomotor skills, language,social and emotional development andcognitive functions such as attention andlearning.

A 4-week-old fetus forms new neurons at a rate of 250,000 every minute. This rapid rate of development is reflected in the rates of glucose utilization. In the first 4 years the child’s brain utilizes twice as much energy in the form of glucose metabolism as that of adults.

This period of incredible and rapid development creates a window of opportunity in which the brain is particularly sensitive to experience and the acquisition of new information. The experiences a child has during this time will shape the architecture of his/her brain and neuronal connections

The advances in research in infant neurodevelopment highlight the crucial nature of experience in shaping the brain, the role of nutrition for health development and the importance of stimulating learning.

Experts Interviews on brain development

Experts Interviews - The effect of microbiota on mood and behaviour

Prof. Sylvie Rabot

Brain Development

The gut-brain axis is a cutting-edge topic that refers to the liaison between cognitive and emotional centres in the brain and intestinal functions. Several early studies have shown that stress can perturb the composition of the microbiota which can affect behaviour, gene expression in the brain and the development of the nervous system. In this webinar, Prof. Sylvie Rabot adresses the brain and behavioural responses to stress, and how gut microbiota dysbiosis could contribute to the pathophysiology of anxiety and mood disorders in humans.

Sylvie Rabot is a Research scientist at INRAE (French National Institue for Agricultural Research) and MICALIS Institute. She is a member of the French Society for Microbiology, the French Neurosciences Society and the french Veterinary Academy. Author of more than 80 scientific publications, her current research activities are about the Microbiota Gut- Brain Axis.

experts publications on brain development

Microbiota, diet, and the gut–brain axis in multiple sclerosis and stroke

Brain Development

L. Diaz-Marugan et al. 2023

Intestinalmicrobiota can influence the phenotype and function of immune cell responses through the dissemination of bacterial antigens or metabolites. Diet is one of the major forces shaping the microbiota composition and metabolism, contributing to host homeostasis and disease susceptibility.

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Neurodevelopment, nutrition, and growth until 12 mo of age in infants fed a low-energy, low-protein formula supplemented with bovine milk fat globule membranes: a randomized controlled trial

Brain Development

N. Timby (2014)

Observational studies have indicated that differences in the composition of human milk and infant formula yield benefits in cognitive development and early growth for breastfed infants.

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Neuroprotective Role of Lactoferrin during Early Brain Development and Injury through Lifespan

Brain Development

Schirmbeck et al. (2022)

Early adverse fetal environments can significantly disturb central nervous system (CNS) development and subsequently alter brain maturation. Nutritional status is a major variable to be considered during development and increasing evidence links neonate and preterm infant impaired brain growth with neurological and psychiatric diseases in adulthood.

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Webinars on brain development

Webinar - the role of microbiota in brain homeostasis

Prof. Francesca Ronchi

Brain Development

In this webinar, Dr. Ronchi goes into depth about the development of the gut microbiota, outlining interesting findings such as which gateway typically hosts the highest microbial diversity and the precise role of the microbiota in health and organ development. She also explains the current research advancements on the gut-brain axis, its processes and how it may affect our behaviour, brain function, and mental health. The current research she is undertaking at her laboratory is based on the following open questions about which she provides a detailed status update:

  • How does the intestinal flora affect the central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis?
  • Which are the pathways that are activated in response to bacterial exposure?
  • How could these pathways mediate the CNS homeostasis?

Dr. Ronchi is a Senior Researcher at the Department of BioMedical Research, Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Bern. She graduated from postdoctoral Research. She dedicates to understanding how the intestinal microbiota shapes and educates the host Central Nervous System (CNS) immune responses in steady-state and inflammatory conditions, particularly during autoimmunity for translational research in the field of neuro-immunological diseases. Dr. Ronchi received a Biostime Institute for Nutrition and Care (BINC) grant under our funding program 2019 on “The role of microbiota in brain homeostasis during adulthood and early life.”

Funded projects on brain development

4 areas of expertise

Stay at the forefront of healthcare innovation and best practices, empowering yourself with the latest research and insights in our four  areas  of expertise : mother and child health, biotics and microbiome health, immunity and allergy and brain development.

Resources Information for parents

Raising awareness of maternal and infant health to parents is an important duty of health care professionals. We created the parents corner to provide you with insightful resources to help you in your mission.

parents corner