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Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Jul;221(6):3211-22. doi: 10.1007/s00429-015-1096-6. Epub 2015 Sep 4.

Preterm birth alters neonatal, functional rich club organization.

Author information

1
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. dustin.scheinost@yale.edu.
2
Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
3
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
5
Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.

Abstract

Alterations in neural networks are associated with the cognitive difficulties of the prematurely born. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we analyzed functional connectivity for preterm (PT) and term neonates at term equivalent age. Specifically, we constructed whole-brain networks and examined rich club (RC) organization, a common construct among complex systems where important (or "rich") nodes connect preferentially to other important nodes. Both PT and term neonates showed RC organization with PT neonates exhibiting significantly reduced connections between these RC nodes. Additionally, PT neonates showed evidence of weaker functional segregation. Our results suggest that PT birth is associated with fundamental changes of functional organization in the developing brain.

KEYWORDS:

Connectivity; Neonate; Network theory; Preterm birth; Rich club

PMID:
26341628
PMCID:
PMC4779074
DOI:
10.1007/s00429-015-1096-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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