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Study reveals brain activity of pre-term babies and link to developmental disorders

05 May 2015

A new research study has compared brain scans of premature and full term children to increase medical understanding of developmental disorders, as reported in the press.

The study, conducted by King’s College London, indicates that in a pre-term infant the rate of connectivity in some areas of the brain may be reduced compared to full-term babies, and may help to explain why children born prematurely can be more likely to suffer from certain developmental disorders, such as autism.

Bliss welcomes all research which enhances our knowledge of the impact of being born premature on babies as they develop, and supports further research to ensure that all babies have the best chance of reaching their full potential.

Caroline Davey, Chief Executive said: “While many babies born prematurely go on to develop without any problems, we know that some will have additional health or learning difficulties. Bliss strongly supports the delivery of family-centred care on neonatal units, as there is clear evidence that parents play a key role in supporting their baby’s development.

“Despite significant progress in this area, there is still more to do to ensure that all parents can play as full a role as possible in their baby’s care while in hospital, and that they then have the help they need to provide ongoing development support as their child grows up.

“This study also highlights the valuable role of research in improving the outcomes of babies born too soon, too small, or too sick.”

If you would like to find out more about the way in which Bliss supports family-centred care, click here. If you would like to know more about our role in supporting research, click here.


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