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Abstract #0735

Accelerated development in the visual areas of preterm infants? A voxel-based morphometry study on diffusion tensor MR imaging

Rostrup E, Born P, Miranda M, Nagy Z, Jernigan T, Gimenez M
Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance, Copenhagen University Hospital

Premature birth has been related to delayed brain maturation, but the possibility of a more rapid maturation of certain brain areas has not been directly demonstrated. We compared brain maturation by a voxel-based morphometry approach in diffusion images in a sample of preterm newborns compared to a control group. Both groups were MR scanned at similar postmenstrual ages. When compared with the full-term group, the preterm infants at full-term age showed an increase in FA in areas related to visual function. Our findings may lead to new investigations evaluating the adaptive mechanisms of the immature developing brain at early stages.