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Abstract #0924

Reduced Thalamo-Cortical Connectivity at Term Is Associated with Impaired Cognition in Children Who Were Born Preterm

Gareth Ball1, Libuse Pazderova2, Andrew Chew1, Nazakat Merchant1, Nora Tusor1, Tomoki Arichi1, Joanna M. Allsop1, A. David Edwards1, Serena J. Counsell1

1Centre for the Developing Brain, King's College London, London, United Kingdom; 2Dept of Paediatrics, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom

Our aim was to assess whether thalamo-cortical connectivity in the preterm brain at term equivalent age was correlated with cognitive performance in early childhood. We studied 50 children who were born preterm. Diffusion tensor imaging was performed at term equivalent age and thalamo-cortical connectivity was assessed using probabilistic tractography. Cognitive scores at 2 years were correlated with connectivity between thalamus and superior frontal, supplementary motor, superior parietal, right anterior temporal and right medial temporal lobes. Our approach to investigating thalamo-cortical connectivity may be an effective early imaging biomarker of subsequent neurodevelopmental performance in children who are born preterm.