Journal article

Development of cortical microstructure in the preterm human brain

Gareth Ball, Latha Srinivasan, Paul Aljabar, Serena J Counsell, Giuliana Durighel, Joseph V Hajnal, Mary A Rutherford, A David Edwards

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2013


Cortical maturation was studied in 65 infants between 27 and 46 wk postconception using structural and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging. Alterations in neural structure and complexity were inferred from changes in mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy, analyzed by sampling regions of interest and also by a unique whole-cortex mapping approach. Mean diffusivity was higher in gyri than sulci and in frontal compared with occipital lobes, decreasing consistently throughout the study period. Fractional anisotropy declined until 38 wk, with initial values and rates of change higher in gyri, frontal and temporal poles, and parietal cortex; and lower in sulcal, perirolandic, and medial occi..

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Awarded by Medical Research Council

Awarded by National Institute for Health Research

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank the families who took part in the study and our colleagues in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital. Support for this work was provided from the Medical Research Council; the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; the National Institute for Health Research Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre awards to Imperial College London and King's College London; and the Garfield Weston Foundation.