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Abstract #0798

The Effect of Preterm Birth on Cortico-Cortical Connectivity: The Preterm Connectome

Kerstin Pannek1, Xanthy Hatzigeorgiou2, Paul Colditz3, Stephen Rose4

1The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; 2Novita Children's Services, Adelaide, Australia; 3The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; 4The Australian E-Health Research Centre, CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia

Preterm birth is associated with a high prevalence of adverse neurodevelopmental outcome. We used diffusion MRI and T2 relaxometry to assess alterations in cortico-cortical connectivity in the preterm brain at term equivalent age. Cortical networks associated with affected connections mainly involved left frontal and motor cortical areas. Identified cortical regions are associated with higher cognitive function, working memory, language production, verbal comprehension, executive function and motor function, deficits in which are often observed in children and adults born preterm.