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Early brain development and later outcomes in moderate-late preterm babies

48 months
Approved budget:
Professor Jane Harding
Dr Steven Miller
Dr Eleanor Kennedy
Dr Ting Guo
Dr Sian Williams
Ms Jennifer Rogers
Dr David Perry
Dr Malcolm Battin
Professor Ngaire Stott
Mr Gregory Gamble
Health issue:
Child and youth (healthy) development
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Babies born preterm are at increased risk of impaired lifelong health and wellbeing. Moderate-to-late preterm (MLP) babies, born at 32 to 36 weeks, make up the majority of preterm births and thus contribute most to the burden of impairment, but the reason is unknown. We hypothesise that specific changes seen on early brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be an important marker for later impaired development. We will scan MLP babies soon after birth and again around the time they were due to be born, and assess their development at 3 and 24 months. We will determine how common these brain changes are, their possible causes, and how they relate to early brain growth and later development. Findings of this study will help us understand why MLP babies are at increased risk of impairment, and how to identify those most at risk early so they can receive appropriate help.