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Children born very prematurely (< or =32 weeks) often exhibit visual-perceptual difficulties at school-age, even in the absence of major neurological impairment. The alterations in functional brain activity that give rise to such problems, as well as the relationship between adverse neonatal experience and neurodevelopment, remain poorly understood.(More)
Children born very preterm are exposed to repeated neonatal procedures that induce pain and stress during hospitalization in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The COMT Val158Met genotype is involved with pain sensitivity, and early life stress is implicated in altered expression of methylation of the serotonin transporter. We examined: (1) whether(More)
Neonatal pain-related stress is associated with elevated salivary cortisol levels to age 18 months in children born very preterm, compared to full-term, suggesting early programming effects. Importantly, interactions between immune/inflammatory and neuroendocrine systems may underlie programming effects. We examined whether cortisol changes persist to(More)
Prenatal exposure to serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) antidepressants and maternal depression may affect prefrontal cognitive skills (executive functions; EFs) including self-control, working memory and cognitive flexibility. We examined long-term effects of prenatal SRI exposure on EFs to determine whether effects are moderated by maternal mood and/or(More)
BACKGROUND Altered brain development is evident in children born very preterm (24-32 weeks gestational age), including reduction in gray and white matter volumes, and thinner cortex, from infancy to adolescence compared to term-born peers. However, many questions remain regarding the etiology. Infants born very preterm are exposed to repeated procedural(More)
Early life stress can alter hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function. Differences in cortisol levels have been found in preterm infants exposed to substantial procedural stress during neonatal intensive care, compared to infants born full-term, but only a few studies investigated whether altered programming of the HPA axis persists past toddler(More)
OBJECTIVE To examine whether specific neonatal factors differentially influence cerebellar subregional volumes and to investigate relationships between subregional volumes and outcomes in very preterm children at 7 years of age. STUDY DESIGN Fifty-six children born very preterm (24-32 weeks gestational age) followed longitudinally from birth underwent(More)
Early stress in the form of repetitive neonatal pain, in infants born very preterm, is associated with long-term dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and with poorer cognitive performance. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is important in synaptic plasticity and cognitive functions is reduced by stress. Therefore the(More)
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