Navigation Links
Bigger Babies Have Bigger Brains as Teens: Study
Date:11/19/2012

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Newborns who weigh around 9 pounds or more at birth tend to have bigger brains as teens than those who weigh less at birth, a new study finds.

Although the differences in brain size may affect brain development in childhood, the full scope of those effects still isn't known, the researchers added.

"It has been well known for some time that premature birth and very low birth weight can affect brain development," said study author Kristine Beate Walhovd, a professor of neuropsychology at the University of Oslo in Norway. "This study shows that also normal variation in birth weight is predictive of brain characteristics many years later."

Some of the brain areas that were affected by birth weight were where information processing takes place, Walhovd said.

"Although there was a relationship between such brain function and those areas of the brain, we did not find a connection between birth weight and the ability to process data," she said. "It is likely that the relation between birth weight and later brain characteristics is associated with normal genetic differences in growth, and these differences [in size] are not associated with brain function."

The findings also underscore the importance of prenatal and postnatal characteristics on brain development for the life span of individuals, Walhovd said. "This also means that a significant portion of the differences observed in adults were there early on," she said.

One expert was skeptical about the importance of brain size.

"I don't believe the findings of this study are significant," said Rose Alvarez-Salvat, a pediatric psychologist at Miami Children's Hospital.

Alvarez-Salvat said there are too many variables to take into account how brain size can be meaningful, especially among normal weight infants and those born at full-term.

"Very low birth weight babies can have developmental problems in terms of attention, memory and concentration," she said. "If you are looking at a normal group in terms of birth weight -- 6 pounds and up -- you are always going to find a lot of variation."

The report was published online in this week's issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

For the study, Walhovd's team compared brain structures with birth weight in more than 600 teens. To find out if these differences in brain size had an effect on brain function, participants were given standardized tests.

The researchers found that children who weighed more as babies had larger surface area in many regions of the brain and bigger brains than babies who weighed less. These results remained even after the researchers took into account age, sex, household income and family genetics.

Some of the brain areas that appeared to be most related to birth weight are partly responsible for resolving what are called cognitive conflicts, which has to do with the brain's ability to process information and make judgments.

Although there was a link between brain function and these areas of the brain, there was no connection between birth weight and overall brain functioning, the researchers noted.

More information

For more on childhood development, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Kristine Beate Walhovd, Ph.D., professor of neuropsychology, University of Oslo, Norway; Rose Alvarez-Salvat, pediatric psychologist, Miami Children's Hospital; Nov. 19-23, 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. People Carrying Guns May Appear Bigger Than They Are
2. Productivity gains from health IT must await bigger health system changes
3. Math Anxiety Takes Bigger Toll on Girls: Study
4. In-Person Bullying Still Bigger Problem Than Cyberbullying: Expert
5. Behavior issues are a bigger headache for children with migraines
6. Bigger human genome pool uncovers rarer variants
7. Pesticides May Be Linked to Slightly Smaller Babies, Shorter Pregnancies
8. New pregnancy risk for babies and moms
9. More Unmarried Couples Having Babies: CDC
10. Babalung gets babies breathing again
11. Depressed Moms May Hinder Babies Sleep
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bigger Babies Have Bigger Brains as Teens: Study
(Date:3/22/2017)... Chesapeake, VA (PRWEB) , ... March 22, 2017 ... ... offering asset protection assistance and financial consultations to families and business owners in ... raise support for the local American Cancer Society Relay For Life event. , ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... The ... related services to communities across eastern Texas, is announcing a charity drive in ... to hungry children and adults. , Consistently a top-rated nonprofit organization for ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... , ... Schneider Insurance and Financial, a southern Montana firm providing asset protection ... is launching a charity event aimed at raising local support for Zoo Montana. , ... and is home to a broad variety of animals from all over the world. ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... Chris Humphrey Insurance Agency, a North Carolina ... throughout the coastal plains region, is initiating a charity event to raise support for ... first diagnosed with leukemia on a Friday evening in September 2014. At the time, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... ... March 22, 2017 , ... College basketball surges to its peak during ... recruiting – that is, recruiting people to be foster parents. Through a televised spot, ... are in foster care due to abuse, neglect and other family challenges. People who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... 2021, a latest research report. The global vagus nerve ... shift of surgeons focus toward minimally invasive VNS procedures. ... limited to few developed countries having high standards of ... ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , 22 de marzo de 2017   ... líder de soluciones de productos y servicios para ... que ha adquirido EPL Archives, Inc., una organización ... clientes en todo el ciclo de vida de ... una muestra de archivo, almacenamiento de documentos y ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , Mar. 22, 2017 Research and ... Devices Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 10.9% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: