Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRI Scans In Premature Infants Can Predict Future Developmental Delays

Date:
August 18, 2006
Source:
Washington University School of Medicine
Summary:
A Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital has found that performing MRI scans on pre-term infants' brains assists dramatically in predicting the babies' future developmental outcomes.

A Washington University pediatrician at St. Louis Children's Hospital has found that performing MRI scans on pre-term infants' brains assists dramatically in predicting the babies' future developmental outcomes.

Terrie E. Inder, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, of radiology and of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and pediatric researchers in New Zealand and Australia found that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were able to determine abnormalities in the white matter and gray matter of the brains of very pre-term infants, those born at 30 weeks or less. Following the infants from birth to age 2, the researchers were able to grade those abnormalities to predict the risk of severe cognitive delays, psychomotor delays, cerebral palsy, or hearing or visual impairments that may be visible by age 2.

The results of the study appear in the Aug. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers studied 167 preterm infants in New Zealand and Australia and at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Inder said the findings are a breakthrough because previous technology -- cranial ultrasounds -- did not show the abnormalities in the infants' brains.

"With the MRI, now we can understand what's going wrong in the developing brain when the baby is born early," Inder said. "We can use the MRI when the baby reaches full-term (40 weeks) to predict neurodevelopmental outcomes." More than 2 percent of all live births are infants born before 32 weeks of gestation. Nationwide, the rate of premature births jumped 13 percent between 1992 and 2002, according to the March of Dimes. Recent data show that 50 percent of children born prematurely suffer some neurodevelopmental challenges, such as crawling, walking upright, running, swinging arms, and other activities that require coordination and balance. Among pre-term infants who survive, 5 percent to 15 percent have cerebral palsy, severe vision or hearing impairment or both, and 25 percent to 50 percent have cognitive, behavioral and social difficulties that require special educational resources.

The MRI scans show lesions on the infants' brains, as well as which region of the brain is affected and the severity of the risk for future developmental delays. For example, if a lesion is in the area of the brain that controls fine and gross motor skills, the risk is higher that the child will have some type of developmental delay in movement. Pediatricians would then know that the child would benefit from immediate physical therapy, Inder said.

"We can use these results to determine which baby would benefit most from physical, occupational or speech therapy," Inder said. "We can also help prepare the parents for future challenges with learning delays and developmental disabilities."

Reference: Woodard LJ, Anderson PJ, Austin NC, Howard K, Inder TE. Neonatal MRI to Predict Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Preterm Infants. New England Journal of Medicine 355;685-94. Aug. 17, 2006.

This research was supported by the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand, the Lottery Grants Board of New Zealand, the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation, the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University School of Medicine. "MRI Scans In Premature Infants Can Predict Future Developmental Delays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060818020821.htm>.
Washington University School of Medicine. (2006, August 18). MRI Scans In Premature Infants Can Predict Future Developmental Delays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060818020821.htm
Washington University School of Medicine. "MRI Scans In Premature Infants Can Predict Future Developmental Delays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/08/060818020821.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins