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Trends Neurosci. 2009 Sep;32(9):496-505. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

From selective vulnerability to connectivity: insights from newborn brain imaging.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia.


The ability to image the newborn brain during development has provided new information regarding the effects of injury on brain development at different vulnerable time periods. Studies in animal models of brain injury correlate beautifully with what is now observed in the human newborn. We now know that injury at term primarily results in grey matter injury while injury in the premature brain predominantly results in a pattern of white matter injury, though recent evidence suggests a blurring of this distinction . These injuries affect how the brain matures subsequently and again, imaging has led to new insights that allow us to match function and structure. This review will focus on these patterns of injury that are so crucially determined by age at insult. In addition, this review will highlight how the brain responds to these insults with changes in connectivity that have profound functional consequences.

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