No longer in neonatal nutrition are we focusing on just meeting nutritional needs. New questions to consider include, “Can nutrition in early life affect the patient's response to disease?” and “Does nutrition matter for long-term health and neurodevelopment?” In this issue of Pediatrics, Dabydeen et al provide insight into the possibilities.

Term and preterm infants with severe neonatal encephalopathy were randomly assigned; the study included a treatment group that consisted of infants receiving 120% energy and protein intake from term through 12 months of age. Occipitofrontal circumference and axonal diameters in the corticospinal tract, estimated by transcranial magnetic stimulation, were increased in those who were receiving the higher-energy and -protein diet.

Does this study's results strictly demonstrate nutritional rehabilitation (ie, providing an intervention to ameliorate the problem after the insult), or could “programming” a stimulus or insult during a critical period of development that can have long-term or...

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