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Abstract #0222

THE NEONATAL PRETERM BRAIN: A CONNECTOME ANALYSIS

Joana S. de Almeida1, Djalel-Eddine Meskaldji1,2, Serafeim Loukas1,3, Lara Lordier1, Laura Gui4, François Lazeyras4, and Petra S. Hüppi1
1Department of Women-Children-Teenagers, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Genève, Switzerland, 2Institute of Mathematics, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 3Institute of Bioengineering, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland, 4Department of Radiology and Medical Informatics, CIBM, University of Geneva, Genève, Switzerland

Prematurity disrupts brain maturation during a critical period of development, leading to structural brain alterations that might underlie the observed later neurodevelopmental impairments in preterm children. Using diffusion MRI based whole-brain constrained spherical deconvolution tractography, we constructed structural connectomes to study the impact of prematurity on neonatal brain network organization at term-equivalent age. We found that, globally, in comparison to full-term infants, structural networks of very-preterm infants at term showed an increased segregation and decreased capacity to integrate information across brain regions and, in particular, a diminished connectivity strength in subnetworks localized mainly in frontal, limbic and para-limbic regions.

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