Navigation Links
MRI shows brain abnormalities in late preterm infants
Date:6/10/2014

OAK BROOK, Ill. Babies born 32 to 36 weeks into gestation may have smaller brains and other brain abnormalities that could lead to long-term developmental problems, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

Much of the existing knowledge on preterm birth and brain development has been drawn from studies of individuals born very preterm, or less than 32 weeks into gestation at birth.

For the new study, researchers in Australia focused on moderate and late preterm (MLPT) babies those born between 32 weeks, zero days, and 36 weeks, six days, into gestation. MLPT babies account for approximately 80 percent of all preterm births and are responsible for much of the rise in the rates of preterm birth over the last 20 years. Despite this, to date there have been no large-scale studies published on brain alterations associated with MLPT birth that may provide insight into brain-behavior relationships in this group of children.

"In those very preterm babies, brain injury from bleeding into the brain or a lack of blood flow, oxygen or nutrition to the brain may explain some of the abnormal brain development that occurs," said the study's lead author, Jennifer M. Walsh, M.B.B.Ch., B.A.O., M.R.C.P.I., from the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. "However, in some preterm babies, there may be no obvious explanation for why their brain development appears slow compared with babies born on time."

To learn more, the researchers performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams on 199 MLPT and 50 term-born infants (greater than 37 weeks gestation) between 38 to 44 weeks of gestation. They looked for signs of brain injury and compared the size and maturation of multiple brain structures in the two groups.

While injury rates were similar between the two groups, MLPT birth was associated with smaller brain size at term-equivalent age. In addition, MLPT infants had less developed myelination in one part of the brain and more immature gyral folding compared with term-born controls. Myelinationthe formation of a fatty insulating sheath around some nerve fibersand gyral foldingthe folding of the cerebral cortex to increase the brain's surface areaare important processes in early brain development.

The findings suggest that MLPT birth may disrupt the expected trajectory of brain growth that would normally occur in the last two or so months in utero, according to Dr. Walsh.

"Given that brain growth is very rapid in the last one-third of pregnancy, it is perhaps not surprising that being born during this potentially vulnerable period may disrupt brain development," she said. "Brain growth is very complex, involving not only the neurons with which we think and do things, but also the other brain cells that support the neurons and are vital for normal brain function."

The researchers are hoping to learn in greater depth the impact that moderate to late preterm birth has on the brain, so that they can then begin to try different treatments designed to improve brain function and long-term outcome in these infants.

"Medications, along with early intervention to help parents understand their baby's needs, have been effective in helping very preterm babies catch up to their term-born peers," Dr. Walsh said. "However, whether any of the existing treatments will help babies born between 32 and 36 weeks is unknown, as they have not been studied very much at all."

The researchers plan to follow the infants in the study group through childhood to learn more about the relationship between brain abnormalities and later outcomes. They also are assessing additional MRI information about brain structure and function in these children.

"Understanding what problems they have and what might be causing them is the first step in trying to improve their long-term outcome," Dr. Walsh said.


'/>"/>

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

Related medicine news :

1. Wellesley study shows income inequality a key factor in high US teen births
2. Invasive heart test being dramatically overused, Stanford study shows
3. Novel compound demonstrates anti-leukemic effect in zebrafish, shows promise for human treatment
4. Lung Cancer Screening Might Pay Off, Analysis Shows
5. Nonsurgical Method to Measure Brain Pressure Shows Promise
6. BMC study shows diverting passengers to elevators could help reduce falls at Logan Airport
7. Study Shows New Option for Kids With Tough-to-Treat Leukemia
8. Politics May Get in the Way of Empathy, Research Shows
9. Live imaging shows response to cancer drugs can be boosted by altering tumor microenvironment
10. Experimental Pill for Multiple Sclerosis Shows Promise
11. Mechanical tissue resuscitation technology shows promise
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
MRI shows brain abnormalities in late preterm infants
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology ... Quest Awards . The annual awards, now in their 12th year, are among the ... the winners. , In 2016, the awards were retooled to recognize achievements in both ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Premier Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, proudly presents her Sacred ... 2017. This sacred and spiritual journey during the Summer Solstice will also ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The law firm of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP, ... resident Lauren C. Enea has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Ms. Enea, ... in elder law, Medicaid planning and applications, and Wills, Trusts and Estates. Samantha ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Finding Christ Through Social Media: Year One ... the writer’s path toward true communion with God. “Finding Christ Through Social Media: ... creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a follower of Christ, wife and ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... In 2016 ... now estimates that there could be four million Zika-related cases in the Americas within ... with numbers of US cases reported per year skyrocketing to an estimated 329,000. Yet, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017   The Accreditation Council for Medical ... in the pharmaceutical industry has appointed Dr. ... newly formed scientific advisory board. Dr. Chin will ... first ever medical affairs think tank within the ... the ACMA, please visit  www.medicalaffairsspecialist.org .  Connect ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 24, 2017 Research and ... (IPF) Pipeline Analysis, 2016" report to their offering. ... The IPF pipeline is very strong with ... Corporation, Merck & Co., Inc., Biogen and Sanofi are involved in the ... candidates, of which one is in Phase III stage, 15 are in ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 Today ... Equipment stocks, which are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. ... Inc. (NASDAQ: SSH ). These companies are part ... prior gains on Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with ... while shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: