The influence of preterm birth on structural alterations of the vision-deprived brain

Wan, Catherine Y., Wood, Amanda G., Chen, Jian, Wilson, Sarah J. and Reutens, David C. (2013) The influence of preterm birth on structural alterations of the vision-deprived brain. Cortex, 49 4: 1100-1109. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.03.013

Author Wan, Catherine Y.
Wood, Amanda G.
Chen, Jian
Wilson, Sarah J.
Reutens, David C.
Title The influence of preterm birth on structural alterations of the vision-deprived brain
Journal name Cortex   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0010-9452
Publication date 2013-04
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cortex.2012.03.013
Open Access Status
Volume 49
Issue 4
Start page 1100
End page 1109
Total pages 10
Place of publication Milan, Italy
Publisher Elsevier Masson
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Differences in brain structures between blind and sighted individuals have not been widely investigated. Furthermore, existing studies have included individuals who were blinded by retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that is associated with premature birth. Recent pediatric research has reported structural differences in individuals who were born prematurely, suggesting that some of the structural abnormalities previously observed in blind individuals may be related to prematurity rather than being specific to blindness. In the present study, we used voxel-based morphometry to investigate gray and white matter differences between 24 blind and 16 sighted individuals. Of the blind individuals, six were born prematurely and 18 at term. Compared to those born at term, blind individuals born preterm showed differences in gray, but not white, matter volumes in various brain regions. When the preterm individuals were excluded from analysis, there were significant differences between blind and sighted individuals. Full-term blind individuals showed regional gray matter decreases in the cuneus, lingual gyrus, middle occipital gyrus, precuneus, inferior and superior parietal lobules, and the thalamus, and gray matter increases in the globus pallidus. They also showed regional white matter decreases in the cuneus, lingual gyrus, and the posterior cingulate. These differences were observed in blind individuals irrespective of blindness onset age, providing evidence for structural alterations in the mature brain. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the potential impact of premature birth on neurodevelopmental outcomes in studies of blind individuals.
Keyword Blind
Brain structure
Voxel-based morphometry
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
UQ Diamantina Institute Publications
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