Document Detail

The influence of preterm birth on the developing thalamocortical connectome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22959979     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Defining connectivity in the human brain signifies a major neuroscientific goal. Advanced imaging techniques have enabled the non-invasive tracing of brain networks to define the human connectome on a millimetre-scale. During early development, the brain undergoes significant changes that are likely represented in the developing connectome, and preterm birth represents a significant environmental risk factor that impacts negatively on early cerebral development. Using tractography to comprehensively map the connections of the thalamocortical unit, we aim to demonstrate that premature extrauterine life due to preterm delivery results in significantly decreased thalamocortical connectivity in the developing human neonate.
METHODS: T1- and T2-weighted magnetic resonance images and 32-direction diffusion tensor images were acquired from 18 healthy term-born neonates (median gestational age: 41(+3)) and 47 preterm infants (median gestational age: 28(+3)) scanned at term-equivalent age. Using a novel processing pipeline for tracing connections in the neonatal brain we map and compare the thalamocortical macro-connectome between groups.
RESULTS: We demonstrate that connections between the thalamus and the frontal cortices, supplementary motor areas, occipital lobe and temporal gyri are significantly diminished in preterm infants (FDR-corrected, p < .001).
CONCLUSIONS: This supports the hypothesis that the thalamocortical system is vulnerable following preterm birth and the tractographic framework presented represents a method for analysing system connectivity that can be readily applied to other populations and neural systems.
Gareth Ball; James P Boardman; Paul Aljabar; Anand Pandit; Tomoki Arichi; Nazakat Merchant; Daniel Rueckert; A David Edwards; Serena J Counsell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-08-09
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior     Volume:  49     ISSN:  1973-8102     ISO Abbreviation:  Cortex     Publication Date:  2013 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-06-10     Completed Date:  2014-01-15     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0100725     Medline TA:  Cortex     Country:  Italy    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1711-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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MeSH Terms
Brain Mapping
Cerebral Cortex / growth & development*,  physiology*
Data Interpretation, Statistical
Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Echo-Planar Imaging
Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature / physiology*
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neural Pathways / growth & development*,  physiology*
Premature Birth
Thalamus / growth & development*,  physiology*
Grant Support
MC_U120081323//Medical Research Council; //Medical Research Council

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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