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Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function
Date:5/5/2014

munication between nerve cells, and smaller thalami, a brain region involved in sensory and motor signaling.

"Late preterm birth accounts for 8 percent of all births each year in the United States, making it a public health issue," said presenting author Jane E. Brumbaugh, MD, FAAP, associate, University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics. "The effects of late preterm birth on the brain have not yet been fully characterized, and it has been assumed that there are no significant consequences to being born a few weeks early. Our preliminary findings show that children born late preterm have differences in brain structure and deficits in specific cognitive skills compared to children born full term."

Parents of late preterm children also reported more problems with hyperactivity, inattention, opposition and aggression than parents of full term children.

"The developing brain is vulnerable to what most might consider a minor 'insult' in being born late preterm. Moreover, these effects are enduring," said senior author Peggy C. Nopoulos, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics with University of Iowa Health Care.


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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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