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Cereb Cortex. 2019 Mar 1;29(3):1174-1184. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy023.

Cerebellar Functional Connectivity in Term- and Very Preterm-Born Infants.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.
2
Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.
4
Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO, USA.

Abstract

Cortical resting state networks have been consistently identified in infants using resting state-functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). Comparable studies in adults have demonstrated cerebellar components of well-established cerebral networks. However, there has been limited investigation of early cerebellar functional connectivity. We acquired non-sedated rs-fMRI data in the first week of life in 57 healthy, term-born infants and at term-equivalent postmenstrual age in 20 very preterm infants (mean birth gestational age 27 ± 2 weeks) without significant cerebral or cerebellar injury. Seed correlation analyses were performed using regions of interests spanning the cortical and subcortical gray matter and cerebellum. Parallel analyses were performed using rs-fMRI data acquired in 100 healthy adults. Our results demonstrate that cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity is well-established by term. Intra- and cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity were largely similar in infants and adults. However, infants showed more functional connectivity structure within the cerebellum, including stronger homotopic correlations and more robust anterior-posterior anticorrelations. Prematurity was associated with reduced correlation magnitudes, but no alterations in intra- and cortico-cerebellar functional connectivity topography. These results add to the growing evidence that the cerebellum plays an important role in shaping early brain development during infancy.

PMID:
29420701
PMCID:
PMC6373668
[Available on 2020-03-01]
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhy023

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