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CTBR/CTSC Spring 2015 Colloquia: Risk and Resilience: Lifelong Neuroprotective Effects of Prenatal Choline Supplementation

Event Start Date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 12:00pm
Event End Date: 
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 2:00pm

Christina L. Williams
Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience
Duke University

Choline is an essential nutrient for humans. Studies in rats and mice have shown that high choline intake during pregnancy and lactation improves cognitive function of the offspring, and protects the brain from cognitive and neurological deterioration association with epilepsy and hereditary conditions such as Down’s and Rett Syndromes. Accompanying these improvements in neurocognitive function are increases in hippocampal neurogenesis, and alterations in hippocampal circuitry and cholinergic input. As well, modifications of early choline nutrition cause modified patterns of expression of hundreds of cortical and hippocampal genes. The effects of choline correlate with cortical changes in DNA and histone methylation, thus suggesting an epigenomic mechanism of action of perinatal choline. Prenatal choline nutrition may explain individual differences in risk and resilience to hippocampal dysfunction.

Colloquium supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health – 8 G12 MD007599-27 (formerly NCRR Grant #G12 RR003037) and grant #2UL1TR000457-06 (formerly grant #UL1RR024996) of the CTSC at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Refreshments will be served.


Room 612HN
Hunter College, 68th Street Campus

Contact person and information for event: 

Denise Charles
dc674 [at]