Epigenetic Mechanisms, Stunting and Poor Growth; Targets for Interventions
Peter Gluckman of the University of Auckland in New Zealand and colleagues will test whether intrauterine growth retardation and childhood stunting, which are commonly seen in developing countries, are caused by epigenetic changes that can be corrected in pregnancy and infancy by modifying nutrition. Stunting is associated with many negative outcomes including decreased cognitive ability and immune function. Using epigenetic analyses, and clinical and epidemiological approaches in stunted and control children from Jamaica, Ghana and Singapore they will identify underlying pathophysiological mechanisms of stunting that can act as targets for intervention. The long-term goal is to prevent infant stunting and its associated adverse consequences.