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Neonatology. 2014;106(2):149-55. doi: 10.1159/000362433. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

GABA, resting-state connectivity and the developing brain.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Preclinical data demonstrate that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) interneurons initiate connectivity in the developing brain.

OBJECTIVES:

The goal of this study was to compare GABA concentration and its relationship to functional connectivity in the brains of term and preterm infants at term-equivalent age.

METHODS:

Infants received both magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans at term-equivalent age. Whole brain functional connectivity MRI data using intrinsic connectivity distribution maps were compared to identify areas with differences in resting-state functional connectivity between the preterm and term control groups. MRS measured concentrations of GABA, glutamate, N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) and choline; NAA/choline was then calculated for comparison between the 2 groups.

RESULTS:

Preterm infants had lower right frontal GABA and glutamate concentrations than term controls and showed a significantly different relationship between connectivity and GABA concentration in the right frontal lobe. Preterm infants had a positive correlation between GABA concentration and connectivity, while term controls demonstrated a negative correlation between these two developmentally regulated parameters.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that regional GABA concentrations are associated with normal and altered neonatal resting-state connectivity.

© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

PMID:
24970028
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC4134402
[Available on 2015-06-26]
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