, Volume 120, Issue 1-3, pp 92-101
Date: 02 Aug 2007

Acquisition of Visuomotor Abilities and Intellectual Quotient in Children Aged 4–10 Years: Relationship with Micronutrient Nutritional Status

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Abstract

Lethargy, poor attention, and the high rate and severity of infections in malnourished children affect their educational achievement. We therefore studied the association between visuomotor abilities and intelligence quotient (IQ) and their relationship with iron, zinc, and copper. A cross-sectional study was carried out on a sample of 89 healthy children (age range, 4–10 years). Evaluations of visuomotor ability and IQ were performed with the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration (VMI) and the Scale for Measurement of Intelligence for children aged 3–18 years, respectively. Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometry and biochemical assessments, which included serum ferritin, zinc and copper levels, and Hb. The sample was classified as having low or normal VMI scores: 47 children (52.8%, mean age 7 ± 1.5 years) had low VMI, and 42 (47.2%, mean age 7 ± 2.06 years) had normal VMI. There were no statistically significant differences in socioeconomic and cultural condition between both groups. We found significantly higher serum copper and ferritin levels in normal as compared to low VMI, but we did not find any differences with zinc. IQ was significantly higher in normal vs low VMI children. The fact that children with abnormal VMI presented low mean serum copper and ferritin concentrations could indicate that copper and iron deficiencies in this sample could be related with visuomotor abilities.