Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function

Date:
May 5, 2014
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
The brains of children who were born just a few weeks early differ from those born on time, and these differences may affect learning and behavior, according to a new study.

The brains of children who were born just a few weeks early differ from those born on time, and these differences may affect learning and behavior, according to a study to be presented Monday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Studies have shown that children who were born between 34 and 36 weeks' gestation (late preterm) have more social, behavioral and academic problems than children born at full term (37-41 weeks). However, few studies have looked at the brain structure of late preterm children.

Researchers from the University of Iowa conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on 32 children ages 7-13 years old who were born at 34-36 weeks' gestation. In addition, they administered cognitive tests to the children, including the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Benton Judgment of Line Orientation (which assesses visual perception), Grooved Pegboard (which assesses fine motor skills and coordination) and Children's Memory Scale. Parents also completed a behavioral assessment.

Results were compared to 64 children born at full term who were recruited for another study in which they completed the same cognitive and behavioral assessments, neurological exam, and MRI sequences as the late preterm group.

Preliminary analysis showed differences in both cognitive function and brain structure in the late preterm children compared to full term children. Functionally, late preterm children had more difficulties with visuospatial reasoning and visual memory. They also had slower processing speed. Processing speed refers to the ability to perform automatically a simple task in an efficient manner. Children with slower processing speed may require more time in the classroom setting to accomplish a task.

Structurally, the brains of late preterm children had less total cerebral white matter, which is critical to communication between nerve cells, and smaller thalami, a brain region involved in sensory and motor signaling.

"Late preterm birth accounts for 8 percent of all births each year in the United States, making it a public health issue," said presenting author Jane E. Brumbaugh, MD, FAAP, associate, University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics. "The effects of late preterm birth on the brain have not yet been fully characterized, and it has been assumed that there are no significant consequences to being born a few weeks early. Our preliminary findings show that children born late preterm have differences in brain structure and deficits in specific cognitive skills compared to children born full term."

Parents of late preterm children also reported more problems with hyperactivity, inattention, opposition and aggression than parents of full term children.

"The developing brain is vulnerable to what most might consider a minor 'insult' in being

born late preterm. Moreover, these effects are enduring," said senior author Peggy C. Nopoulos, MD, professor of psychiatry, neurology and pediatrics with University of Iowa Health Care.

Dr. Brumbaugh will present "Late Preterm Children Demonstrate Altered Brain Function and Structure at School Age" on Monday, May 5. To view the study abstract, go to http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS14L1_3670.1.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094157.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2014, May 5). Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094157.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140505094157.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A study suggests people who follow a "rule of thumb" when pouring wine dispense less than those who don't have a particular amount in mind. 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