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Abstract #0741

Gestational Age at Birth Influences Brain White Matter Development

L. Tugan Muftuler1, Claudia Buss2, Orhan Nalcioglu1, Curt A. Sandman2, Elysia Poggi Davis2

1Center for Functional Onco-Imaging, University of California, Irvine, CA, United States; 2Psychiatry & Human Behavior, University of California, Orange, CA, United States

In the fetal brain, there is minimal myelinated WM at 29 weeks and a dramatic increase is seen after the 36th week. Therefore, this is a period when the brain development is highly vulnerable to insults caused by premature birth. Prior studies have investigated the mean differences between preterm and term children. But the fetal brain development is a continuous process and gestational age at birth will disrupt the process in different phases. Therefore, we studied the persisting effects of GAB on the WM of children. The results show that major WM pathways are strongly influenced by the GAB.