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Neonatal Hypoxia, Hippocampal Atrophy, and Memory Impairment: Evidence of a Causal Sequence.

Cooper, JM; Gadian, DG; Jentschke, S; Goldman, A; Munoz, M; Pitts, G; Banks, T; ... Vargha-Khadem, F; + view all (2013) Neonatal Hypoxia, Hippocampal Atrophy, and Memory Impairment: Evidence of a Causal Sequence. Cereb Cortex 10.1093/cercor/bht332. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Neonates treated for acute respiratory failure experience episodes of hypoxia. The hippocampus, a structure essential for memory, is particularly vulnerable to such insults. Hence, some neonates undergoing treatment for acute respiratory failure might sustain bilateral hippocampal pathology early in life and memory problems later in childhood. We investigated this possibility in a cohort of 40 children who had been treated neonatally for acute respiratory failure but were free of overt neurological impairment. The cohort had mean hippocampal volumes (HVs) significantly below normal control values, memory scores significantly below the standard population means, and memory quotients significantly below those predicted by their full scale IQs. Brain white matter volume also fell below the volume of the controls, but brain gray matter volumes and scores on nonmnemonic neuropsychological tests were within the normal range. Stepwise linear regression models revealed that the cohort's HVs were predictive of degree of memory impairment, and gestational age at treatment was predictive of HVs: the younger the age, the greater the atrophy. We conclude that many neonates treated for acute respiratory failure sustain significant hippocampal atrophy as a result of the associated hypoxia and, consequently, show deficient memory later in life.

Type: Article
Title: Neonatal Hypoxia, Hippocampal Atrophy, and Memory Impairment: Evidence of a Causal Sequence.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bht332
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bht332
Keywords: developmental amnesia, hippocampal volumes, hypoxia
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Clinical Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Developmental Neurosciences Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1418489
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