(From the March 2014 Issue of MedStat)
Highly Reliable Brain Imaging Protocol Identifies Delays in Premature Infants
Infants born prematurely are at elevated risk for cognitive, motor and behavioral deficits — the severity of which was, until recently, almost impossible to accurately predict in the neonatal period with conventional brain imaging technology. But physicians may now be able to identify the premature infants most at risk for deficits as well as the type of deficit, enabling them to quickly initiate early neuroprotective therapies, by using highly reliable 3-D MRI imaging techniques developed by clinician scientists at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. The imaging technique also facilitates early and repeatable assessments of these therapies to help clinicians and researchers determine whether neuroprotective treatments are effective in a matter of weeks, instead of the two to five years previously required. The researchers — experts in brain imaging and anatomy — developed a protocol for using the special imaging technique to study the development of 10 brain tracts in these tiny patients, work published online in PLOS One. Read the news release.