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Born Too Early and Too Small: Higher Order Cognitive Function and Brain at Risk at Ages 8-16

Corcoles-Parada, M; Gimenez-Mateo, R; Serrano-del-Pueblo, V; Lopez, L; Perez-Hernandez, E; Mansilla, F; Martinez, A; ... Munoz-Lopez, M; + view all (2019) Born Too Early and Too Small: Higher Order Cognitive Function and Brain at Risk at Ages 8-16. Frontiers in Psychology , 10 , Article 1942. 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01942. Green open access

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Abstract

Prematurity presents a risk for higher order cognitive functions. Some of these deficits manifest later in development, when these functions are expected to mature. However, the causes and consequences of prematurity are still unclear. We conducted a longitudinal study to first identify clinical predictors of ultrasound brain abnormalities in 196 children born very preterm (VP; gestational age ≤32 weeks) and with very low birth weight (VLBW; birth weight ≤1500 g). At ages 8–16, the subset of VP-VLBW children without neurological findings (124) were invited for a neuropsychological assessment and an MRI scan (41 accepted). Of these, 29 met a rigorous criterion for MRI quality and an age, and gender-matched control group (n = 14) was included in this study. The key findings in the VP-VLBW neonates were: (a) 37% of the VP-VLBW neonates had ultrasound brain abnormalities; (b) gestational age and birth weight collectively with hospital course (i.e., days in hospital, neonatal intensive care, mechanical ventilation and with oxygen therapy, surgeries, and retinopathy of prematurity) predicted ultrasound brain abnormalities. At ages 8–16, VP-VLBW children showed: a) lower intelligent quotient (IQ) and executive function; b) decreased gray and white matter (WM) integrity; (c) IQ correlated negatively with cortical thickness in higher order processing cortical areas. In conclusion, our data indicate that facets of executive function and IQ are the most affected in VP-VLBW children likely due to altered higher order cortical areas and underlying WM.

Type: Article
Title: Born Too Early and Too Small: Higher Order Cognitive Function and Brain at Risk at Ages 8-16
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01942
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01942
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Multidisciplinary, Psychology, preterm, perinatal clinical variables, cognition, MRI, DTI, cognitive function, fornix, memory, LOW-BIRTH-WEIGHT, WHITE-MATTER ABNORMALITIES, SURFACE-BASED ANALYSIS, HUMAN CEREBRAL-CORTEX, CHILDREN BORN, PRETERM CHILDREN, HIPPOCAMPAL VOLUME, CORTICAL THICKNESS, PREMATURE BRAIN, ADOLESCENTS
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 > 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: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10083049
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