Project III Repair after Early Preterm Birth Premature birth is a major problem worldwide, with many causes including societal and environmental effects. In the US alone, there are more than half of a million premature births per year. Despite tremendous advances in neonatal care, as many as 50% of prematurely born infants ultimately have behavioral or cognitive disorders. Due to advances in magnetic resonance imaging technologies, early detection of abnormal neurological development is possible, but therapies and interventions remain elusive. This study aims to utilize a combination of a newer network approach (using diffusion imaging) and metabolic exams (using spectroscopic imaging) to assess brain structure and metabolism in the early neonatal period in prematurely born children, not only in the cerebrum but also in the cerebellum, in which disturbed development has been associated with abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome. A third MRI exam at age 6 months will be performed to determine whether early developmental perturbations result in long-term abnormalities of functional connectivity, structural connectivity, metabolism, and brain development. We also aim to recruit fifty 8-10 year olds, who were previously enrolled in our program, for imaging in addition to their standard neurodevelopmental exams in order to identify the best imaging markers of brain repair. The ultimate goal is to determine when the earliest alterations in brain development occur in order to prevent and, ultimately, treat them. Thus, we will improve our understanding of normal and abnormal maturation and of imaging markers of repair with the ultimate goal of early diagnosis and therapy aimed at repair..
|Jenster, Meike; Bonifacio, Sonia L; Ruel, Theodore et al. (2014) Maternal or neonatal infection: association with neonatal encephalopathy outcomes. Pediatr Res 76:93-9|