Scurvy and Rickets Masked by Chronic Neurologic Illness: Revisiting "Psychologic Malnutrition"

  • Noble J
  • Mandel A
  • Patterson M
  • 53


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 24


    Citations of this article.


The North American epidemic of overeating, combined with a sedentary lifestyle, has led to a growing prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and the "metabolic syndrome" in children. Excessive caloric intake does not imply adequate nutrition, and vitamin-deficiency syndromes still occur in some American children. Here we describe cases of scurvy and vitamin D deficiency in 2 children with cognitive disorders. Thorough dietary histories suggested the diagnosis in each patient and, had they been obtained at presentation, would likely have obviated invasive diagnostic workup, unnecessary stress to the patients and their families, and significant functional disability. Overnutrition and malnutrition may coexist, particularly among those with abnormal cognition or autistic spectrum disorders. Classic nutritional deficiencies must not be omitted from the differential diagnosis. A comprehensive dietary history and screening for vitamin deficiencies in at-risk children are important aspects of preventive health care and are essential for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • J. M. Noble

  • A. Mandel

  • M. C. Patterson

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free