Preterm children experience a high prevalence of long-term serious cognitive defects. Fetuses of 23 weeks of gestational age are now viable. Subsequent physiological stress can seriously disrupt the maturational processes that lay down this arthitecture. The ensuing abnormalities in brain may then contribute to the long term cogntive deficits. We aimed to measure regional brain volumes on the magnetic resonance imaging of prematurely born 9-year-old children and group matched term children. Nineteen nine year old preterm children and 21 term children recruited for the study. All subjectswent under the volumetric magnetic resonance imaging. In the neurocognitive assessment, it was observed that preterm children had impairments in visuospatial functioning, three- dimensional thought ability, data processing andlearning speed, executive function, complicated executive attention, perseveration, working memory, abstract thinking, installation replacement, focused attention. Volumes of serebellum, right and left caudate nucleus, right and left putamen, right and left globus pallidus. Right and left hypocampus and corpus callosum were significantly smaller in preterm children. There was a correlation between serebellar volume and executivefunction, harmony in social life, importance given to attentionand detail, visuospatial disorder and verbal IQ, hypocampal volume and attention, arithmetics, verbal and performance IQ, bilateral caudate nucleus volume and full scale IQ score, vocabulary and speech skills, time in event processing, three dimensional thinking and verbal IQ scores.
Our data indicate that preterm birth is associated with regionally specific, long term reductions in brain volume, in turn lead to poorer cognitive outcome.
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