Longitudinal Measurement of the Developing Thalamus in the Preterm Brain Using Multi-modal MRI
Preterm birth is a significant public health concern. For infants born very preterm (≤ 32 weeks completed gestation), there is a high instance of developmental disability. Due to the heterogeneity of patient outcomes, it is important to investigate early markers of future ability to provide effective and targeted intervention.
As a neuronal relay centre, the thalamus is critical for effective cognitive function and, thus, development of white matter connections between the thalamus and cortex is vital. By non-invasively examining the state of the thalamus we can monitor development in the preterm period. To track the development we develop a novel registration technique to combine data from multiple modalities, in order to derive the transformation from a preterm scan, to a scan of the same infant at term-equivalent age. By measuring the changes in diffusion parameters over this period on a per-voxel basis, we hope to provide unique insight into neurodevelopment.
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- 9.Behrens, T.E.J., Johansen-Berg, H., Woolrich, M.W., Smith, S.M., Wheeler-Kingshott, C.A.M., Boulby, P.A., Barker, G.J., Sillery, E.L., Sheehan, K., Ciccarelli, O., Thompson, A.J., Brady, J.M., Matthews, P.M.: Non-invasive mapping of connections between human thalamus and cortex using diffusion imaging. Nature Neuroscience 6(7), 750–757 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar