A recent study has shown that babies born prematurely have a much higher chance of developing issues creating mental connections.
Babies born prematurely face a wide range of health issues and complications, and recent research suggests that this now includes a heightened risk of neurological and psychiatric problems. According to a press release from Washington University in St. Louis, this can lead to complications with attention, communication, and emotional processing.
Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine scanned the brains of premature and on-time babies and examined the neurological differences between them.
According to lead researcher Cynthia Rogers, an assistant professor of child psychiatry, “The brain is particularly ‘plastic’ very early in life and potentially could be modified by early intervention. We usually can’t begin interventions until after symptoms develop, but what we’re trying to do is develop objective measures of brain development in preemies that can indicate whether a child is likely to have later problems so that we can intervene with extra support and therapy early on to try to improve outcomes.”
The study’s findings were presented at the October 19 Neuroscience 2015 meeting, the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience. The authors also met with other researchers to discuss the findings at the meeting’s headquarters at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
Almost 10 percent of babies in the U.S. are born prematurely, and the risk of cognitive developmental issues is real. Premature babies can have trouble developing their motor skills, and are much more susceptible to ADHD, autism, and anxiety later on in life.