Longitudinal Analysis of the Preterm Cortex Using Multi-modal Spectral Matching
Extremely preterm birth (less than 32 weeks completed gestation) overlaps with a period of rapid brain growth and development. Investigating longitudinal brain changes over the preterm period in these infants may allow the development of biomarkers for predicting neurological outcome. In this paper we investigate longitudinal changes in cortical thickness, cortical fractional anisotropy and cortical mean diffusivity in a groupwise space obtained using a novel multi-modal spectral matching technique. The novelty of this method consists in its ability to register surfaces with very little shape complexity, like in the case of the early developmental stages of preterm infants, by also taking into account their underlying biology. A multi-modal method also allows us to investigate interdependencies between the parameters. Such tools have great potential in investigating in depth the regions affected by preterm birth and how they relate to each other.
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