Developmental Biology - Brain|
Lipids Increase Brain Volume In Tiny Preemies
Early lipids boost brain growth for vulnerable micro-preemies...
Dietary lipids, already an important source of energy for tiny preemies, also provide a much-needed brain boost by significantly increasing global brain volume as well as increasing volume in regions involved in motor activities and memory, according to research presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting.
"Compared with macronutrients like carbohydrates and proteins, lipid intake during the first month of life is associated with increased overall and regional brain volume for micro-preemies. Using non-invasive magnetic resonance imaging, we see increased volume in the cerebellum by 2 weeks of age. And at four weeks of life, lipids increase total brain volume and boost regional brain volume in the cerebellum, amygdala-hippocampus and brainstem."
Catherine Limperopoulos PhD, Director, MRI Research of the Developing Brain, Children's National Health System, and senior author.
The cerebellum is involved in virtually all physical movement and enables coordination and balance. The amygdala processes and stores short-term memories. The hippocampus manages emotion and mood. And the brainstem acts like a router, passing messages from the brain to the rest of the body, as well as enabling essential functions like breathing, a steady heart rate and swallowing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 U.S. babies is born preterm, or before 37 weeks gestation.
Regions of the brain that play vital roles in complex cognitive and motor activities experience exponential growth late in pregnancy, making the developing brains of preterm infants particularly vulnerable to injury and impaired growth. Children's research faculty examined the impact of lipid intake in the first month of life on brain volumes for very low birth weight infants, who weighed 1,500 grams or less at birth. These micro-preemies are especially vulnerable to growth failure and neurocognitive impairment after birth.
The team enrolled 68 micro-preemies who were 32 weeks gestational age and younger when they were admitted to Children's neonatal intensive care unit during their first week of life. They measured cumulative macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and calories - consumed by these newborns at 2 and 4 weeks of life. Over years, Limperopoulos' lab has amassed a large database of babies who were born full-term; this data provides unprecedented insights into normal brain development and will help to advance understanding of brain development in high-risk preterm infants.
"Even after controlling for average weight gain and other health conditions, lipid intake was positively associated with cerebellar and brainstem volumes in very low birthweight preterm infants."
Katherine M. Ottolini MD, Pediatrician, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and study lead author.
According to Limperopoulos, Children's future research will examine the optimal timing and volume of lipids to boost neurodevelopment for micro-preemies.
Pediatric Academic Societies 2019 Annual Meeting presentation
Katherine M. Ottolini, lead author; Nickie Andescavage MD, Attending, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and co-author; Kushal Kapse, research and development staff engineer and co-author; and Catherine Limperopoulos PhD, director of MRI Research of the Developing Brain and senior author, all of Children's National.
Howell DR, Potter MN, Kirkwood MW, Wilson PE, Provance AJ, and Wilson JC: Clinical predictors of symptom resolution for children and adolescents with sport-related concussion. Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics, published online, ahead of print, April 16, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2018.11.PEDS18626.
Disclosure: Dr. Howell receives research support not related to this study from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (R03HD094560) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (R01NS100952 and R41NS103698) as well as from a research contract between Boston Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and ElMindA Ltd.
The Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics is a monthly peer-reviewed journal focused on diseases and disorders of the central nervous system and spine in children. This journal contains a variety of articles, including descriptions of preclinical and clinical research as well as case reports and technical notes. The Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics is one of four monthly journals published by the JNS Publishing Group, the scholarly journal division of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Other peer-reviewed journals published by the JNS Publishing Group each month include the Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgical Focus, and the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. All four journals can be accessed at http://www.thejns.org.
Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with more than 10,000 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada, or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the brain, spinal column, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit http://www.AANS.org.
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Apr 30 2019 Fetal Timeline Maternal Timeline News
Segmentation of a preterm brain T2-weighted MRI image at 30 gestational weeks. GREEN: cortical grey matter, BLUE: white matter, GRAY: deep grey matter, LIGHT BLUE: lateral ventricle, PURPLE: cerebellum, ORANGE: brainstem, RED: hippocampus, and YELLOW: cerebrospinal fluid. Children's National MRI Research of the Developing Brain. Credit: Children's National