Is Neural Function Compromised Prior to Preterm Birth?
This study by Thomason et al. (Nature Scientific Reports, 2017) aimed to determine if neural function is already decreased in fetuses who will later be born preterm.
Matched Case Control Study
36 women received MRIs between 24 and 35 weeks of pregnancy to examine neural network connectivity in their fetuses with normal appearing brain anatomy. Fetuses who would go on to be born preterm were found to have decreased neural functional connectivity in their left hemisphere pre-language regions. These results indicate that neurodevelopmental issues associated with preterm infants could begin before birth.
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