Nutritional intervention and neurodevelopmental outcome in infants with suspected cerebral palsy: the Dolphin infant double-blind randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

Aim

To investigate whether docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), choline, and uridine-5-monophosphate (UMP) supplementation improves neurodevelopmental outcome in infants with suspected cerebral palsy (CP) versus a comparison group of children.

Method

Infants aged 1 to 18 months with suspected CP were recruited from UK child development centres. Participants received daily treatment or control supplementation for 2 years (double-blind randomized control design). Stratification was by age, sex, predominant pattern of motor involvement (four limbs or other), and visual impairment (or not). The primary outcome was the cognitive composite score of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (CCS-Bayley-III). Secondary outcomes included language composite and motor composite scores of the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III).

Results

Forty infants were recruited; 35 began supplementation, 29 completed 1 to 2 years' supplementation. The treatment group CCS-Bayley-III was non-significantly higher than the comparison group (mean 77.7 [SD 19.2] and 72.2 [SD 19.8] respectively, mean modelled difference 4.4 [−2.8, 11.6]). The treatment group language scores, but not motor scores, were non-significantly higher than for the comparison group.

Interpretation

Most families found supplementation feasible. No statistically significant differences in neurodevelopmental outcome between the treatment and comparison groups were identified. Further investigation of neurodevelopmental outcome after supplementation with DHA, choline, and UMP of infants with suspected CP is warranted.

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