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Abstract #4105

Investigating early brain-behaviour relationships in infants born preterm using whole brain, multimodal magnetic resonance imaging

Claire E Kelly1, Alicia J Spittle1,2,3, Jeanie LY Cheong1,3,4, Jian Chen1,5, Joy E Olsen1,3, Abbey L Eeles1, Jennifer M Walsh1,3,4,6, Marc L Seal1,7, Peter J Anderson1,7, Lex W Doyle1,3,4,7, and Deanne K Thompson1,7,8

1Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, 2Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 3Newborn research, Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 4Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 5Department of Medicine, Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 6Pediatric, Infant, Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER), Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 7Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, 8Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia

The neonatal period is critical for brain development, however relationships between the brain and behaviour early in life are poorly understood. This study investigated relationships between whole brain, multimodal, quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures and neurobehavioural function in 257 preterm infants at term-equivalent age. Voxel-based morphometry and tract-based spatial statistics identified regions where grey and white matter volume and white matter microstructure were associated with various aspects of neurobehavioural function, with regions varying depending on the function. Thus, this study improves knowledge of brain-behaviour relationships early in life, which may help with predicting long-term outcomes and assessing early interventions to improve outcomes.

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