Nutritional disorders in tropical neurology

Gustavo C Román
Handbook of Clinical Neurology 2013, 114: 381-404
About three-fourths of the total world population live in the tropics but consume only 6% of worldwide food production and contribute 15% of the world's net revenue explaining the short life expectancy, high infantile mortality, and poor daily caloric intake; moreover, lack of clean drinking water and deficient sanitation promote water-borne infections, diarrhea, and risk of malabsorption that contribute to the prevalence of malnutrition in the tropics. One-third of the world's population consumes insufficient iodine increasing the risk for mental retardation and deafness due to maternal hypothyroidism. The main nutritional syndromes comprise protein-energy malnutrition (marasmus and kwashiorkor); nutritional neuropathies, myelopathies and neuromyelopathies, as well as specific deficiencies of vitamins and micronutrients including iodine, iron, zinc, and selenium.

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