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.
KeywordsFractional Anisotropy Preterm Birth Cortical Region Longitudinal Measurement Thalamic Volume
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