Special Issue "Neurodevelopment of Survivors Born Very Preterm"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Child Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Peter J. Anderson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, 18 Innovation Walk, Monash University, Clayton, 3800, Victoria, Australia
Interests: cognitive development; brain development; neuropsychological assessment; paediatric neuropsychology; preterm birth; low birth weight; at-risk infants
Dr. Jeanie LY Cheong
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Neonatal Service, The Royal Women’s Hospital, 20 Flemington Road, Parkville, 3052, Victoria, Australia
Interests: Neonatology; neuroimaging; long term follow-up

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Nearly 2% of births are very preterm (<32 weeks gestational age) and most of these infants now survive due to advances in obstetric and neonatal care. However, surviving infants are at risk of a myriad of neurodevelopmental issues, and the prevalence and severity of these problems don’t seem to be reducing with improvements in clinical care. In fact, it is possible that neurodevelopmental outcomes may have worsened with the increased survival of the most vulnerable infants.

The majority of very preterm infants have brain pathology, which influences subsequent brain development and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes. In contrast to term born peers, children born very preterm have higher rates of visual and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy and developmental coordination disorder; intellectual impairment and deficits in all cognitive domains; learning disorders and academic underachievement; emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression; as well as autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, the pattern and severity of neurodevelopmental disorders varies greatly across individuals, with some children free of impairment while others are inflicted with severe impairment in multiple areas of functioning. Understanding the risk and protective factors associated with this variable outcome is of interest, as this knowledge informs preventative intervention and is critical for identifying high risk infants who warrant close monitoring and early intervention.

This Special Issue is seeking the most recent studies examining the short-term and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes of survivors born very preterm. The issue will adopt a lifespan perspective, and encourage papers focusing on infant general movement and neurobehaviour through to adult quality of life and mental health. The issue is interested in all approaches to investigating neurodevelopment including but not limited to clinical assessments of functional domains (e.g. motor, language, cognition), brain imaging, EEG, questionnaires, and data linkage.  Of particular interest will be studies investigating neurodevelopmental comorbidities, changes in outcome across eras, developmental trajectories, biomarkers of neurodevelopmental impairment, and brain–behaviour relationships.  Original research and reviews will be considered.

We are looking forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Peter J. Anderson
Dr. Jeanie LY Cheong
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Preterm
  • Low birth weight
  • Motor
  • Language
  • Cognition
  • Behaviour
  • Neurosensory
  • Brain injury
  • Brain development

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Comparing Standardized and Parent-Reported Motor Outcomes of Extremely Preterm Infants
Children 2019, 6(8), 90; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children6080090 - 01 Aug 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2589
Abstract
Extremely preterm infants are at increased risk of motor impairment. The Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network (CNFUN) afforded an opportunity to study the outcomes of extremely preterm children. The purpose of this study was to compare 18-month corrected age (CA) motor outcomes of extremely [...] Read more.
Extremely preterm infants are at increased risk of motor impairment. The Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network (CNFUN) afforded an opportunity to study the outcomes of extremely preterm children. The purpose of this study was to compare 18-month corrected age (CA) motor outcomes of extremely preterm infants with parent-reported functional outcomes at 3 years CA. CNFUN data of 1376 infants were used to conduct chi-square analyses to compare Bayley-III motor scores (composite, gross, and fine motor) at 18 months CA with parent-reported Ages and Stages Questionnaire motor scores (gross and fine motor) at 3 years CA. The correlation of motor scores at 18-months CA with parent-reported gross and fine motor scores at 3 years CA was also examined. We found that 1 in 5 infants scoring within or above the average range on the Bayley-III had parent-reported functional fine and gross motor difficulties at 3 years CA. Bayley-III scores were only moderately correlated with functional motor outcomes. Results of the study suggest that the Bayley-III at 18 months CA was able to detect the majority of infants with motor problems, but not all; therefore, ongoing follow-up of extremely preterm infants is required. The Bayley-III motor composite score has greater clinical utility compared to sub-scale scores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodevelopment of Survivors Born Very Preterm)
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Article
Effects of Gestational Age and Early Parenting on Children’s Social Inhibition at 6 Years
Children 2019, 6(7), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children6070081 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2990
Abstract
Preterm birth (<37 weeks’ gestation) has been associated with problems in social functioning. Whether social inhibition is specifically related to preterm birth and whether early parenting may protect against social inhibition difficulties is unknown. To explore effects of gestational age and early parent–infant [...] Read more.
Preterm birth (<37 weeks’ gestation) has been associated with problems in social functioning. Whether social inhibition is specifically related to preterm birth and whether early parenting may protect against social inhibition difficulties is unknown. To explore effects of gestational age and early parent–infant relationships on social inhibition, 1314 children born at 26–41 weeks gestational age were studied as part of the prospective Bavarian Longitudinal Study. Early parent–infant relationship quality was assessed postnatally with the parent–infant relationship index. Social inhibition was assessed at age 6 years using an experimental procedure, in which nonverbal and verbal responses were coded into social inhibition categories (disinhibited, normally responsive, inhibited). Multinomial logistic regressions indicated that children with lower gestational age showed more socially disinhibited (nonverbal: OR = 1.27 [95% CI = 1.17–1.40], verbal: OR = 1.23 [95% CI 1.13–1.35]) and inhibited (nonverbal: OR = 1.21 [95% CI = 1.11–1.32], verbal: OR = 1.11 [95% CI = 1.01–1.21]) responses. Good early parent–infant relationships were associated with less verbal disinhibition (OR = 0.70 [95% CI = 0.52–0.93]). Findings suggest that children with lower gestational age are at greater risk to be both socially inhibited and disinhibited. Early parenting affected risk of abnormal social responses. Supporting early parent–infant relationships may reduce preterm children’s risk for social difficulties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodevelopment of Survivors Born Very Preterm)
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Article
A Web-Based Calculator for the Prediction of Severe Neurodevelopmental Impairment in Preterm Infants Using Clinical and Imaging Characteristics
Children 2018, 5(11), 151; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children5110151 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2305
Abstract
Although the most common forms of brain injury in preterm infants have been associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, existing MRI scoring systems lack specificity, do not incorporate clinical factors, and are technically challenging to perform. The objective of this study was to develop [...] Read more.
Although the most common forms of brain injury in preterm infants have been associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, existing MRI scoring systems lack specificity, do not incorporate clinical factors, and are technically challenging to perform. The objective of this study was to develop a web-based, clinically-focused prediction system which differentiates severe neurodevelopmental outcomes from normal-moderate outcomes at two years. Infants were retrospectively identified as those who were born ≤30 weeks gestation and who had MRI imaging at term-equivalent age and neurodevelopmental testing at 18–24 months. Each MRI was scored on injury in three domains (intraventricular hemorrhage, white matter injury, and cerebellar hemorrhage) and clinical factors that were strongly predictive of an outcome were investigated. A binary logistic regression model was then generated from the composite of clinical and imaging components. A total of 154 infants were included (mean gestational age = 26.1 ± 1.8 weeks, birth weight = 889.1 ± 226.2 g). The final model (imaging score + ventilator days + delivery mode + antenatal steroids + retinopathy of prematurity requiring surgery) had strong discriminatory power for severe disability (AUC = 0.850), with a PPV (positive predictive value) of 76% and an NPV (negative predictive value) of 90%. Available as a web-based tool, it can be useful for prognostication and targeting early intervention services to infants who may benefit the most from such services. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurodevelopment of Survivors Born Very Preterm)
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