Navigation Links
MR spectroscopy shows differences in brains of preterm infants
Date:11/25/2013

CHICAGO Premature birth appears to trigger developmental processes in the white matter of the brain that could put children at higher risk of problems later in life, according to a study being presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Preterm infantsgenerally those born 23 to 36 weeks after conception, as opposed to the normal 37- to 42-week gestationface an increased risk of behavioral problems, ranging from impulsiveness and distractibility to more serious conditions like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"In the United States, we have approximately 500,000 preterm births a year," said Stefan Blml, Ph.D., director of the New Imaging Technology Lab at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and associate professor of research radiology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. "About 60,000 of these babies are at high risk for significant long-term problems, which means that this is a significant problem with enormous costs."

Dr. Blml and colleagues have been studying preterm infants to learn more about how premature birth might cause changes in brain structure that may be associated with clinical problems observed later in life. Much of the focus has been on the brain's white matter, which transmits signals and enables communication between different parts of the brain. While some white matter damage is readily apparent on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Dr. Blml's group has been using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to look at differences on a microscopic level.

In this study, the researchers compared the concentrations of certain chemicals associated with mature white matter and gray matter in 51 full-term and 30 preterm infants. The study group had normal structural MRI findings, but MRS results showed significant differences in the biochemical maturation of white matter between the term and preterm infants, suggesting a disruption in the timing and synchronization of white and gray matter maturation. Gray matter is the part of the brain that processes and sends out signals.

"The road map of brain development is disturbed in these premature kids," Dr. Blml said. "White matter development had an early start and was 'out of sync' with gray matter development."

This false start in white matter development is triggered by events after birth, according to Dr. Blml.

"This timeline of events might be disturbed in premature kids because there are significant physiological switches at birth, as well as stimulatory events, that happen irrespective of gestational maturity of the newborn," he said. "The most apparent change is the amount of oxygen that is carried by the blood."

Dr. Blml said that the amount of oxygen delivered to the fetus's developing brain in utero is quite low, and our brains have evolved to optimize development in that low oxygen environment. However, when infants are born, they are quickly exposed to a much more oxygen-rich environment.

"This change may be something premature brains are not ready for," he said.

While this change may cause irregularities in white matter development, Dr. Blml noted that the newborn brain has a remarkable capacity to adapt or even "re-wire" itselfa concept known as plasticity. Plasticity not only allows the brain to govern new skills over the course of development, like learning to walk and read, but could also make the brains of preterm infants and young children more responsive to therapeutic interventions, particularly if any abnormalities are identified early.

"Our research points to the need to better understand the impact of prematurity on the timing of critical maturational processes and to develop therapies aimed at regulating brain development," Dr. Blml said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. RSNA: MR Spectroscopy Shows Differences in Brains of Preterm Infants
2. Study shows displaying lab costs upfront can save money
3. Virtual sailing simulator shows key role of recreation
4. EORTC head & neck cancer trial shows assessing HRQOL is valuable to both patients and their doctors
5. "Taking Timeout from Technology" Study Results Announced by The Unplug Series, Shows 20% Would Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms After 24 Hours
6. Nanotechnology Shows Potential in Fighting Mesothelioma
7. Advanced CT imaging proves as accurate as invasive tests to assess heart blockages, study shows
8. New study shows spironolactone reduces heart failure hospitalizations, but not mortality
9. Depression in pregnancy: New study shows preferences for therapy over medication
10. Drug shows early promise in treating seizures
11. Nanotech researchers 2-step method shows promise in fighting pancreatic cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MR spectroscopy shows differences in brains of preterm infants
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s ... setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those ... goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. In an effort to ... treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has issued a pain management ... (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which can cause episodes of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida ... their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers ... as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  The National Pharmaceutical ... joined the health policy research organization as its ... , MD, senior vice president and chief scientific ... representative on the NPC Board of Directors. ... that Mallinckrodt has joined us in support of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Delcath Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... focused on treatment of primary and metastatic liver cancers, ... education - www.againsttheodds.eu - has been awarded ... Awards. The website was developed ... and their families who are coping with the devastating ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: AMAG ), IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ADRO ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: