Preterm birth still results in a high number of neurodevelopmental sequelae, although major forms of brain lesions-such as periventricular leukomalacia and intraventricular hemorrhage-are significantly reduced in this population of babies compared with a few years ago. This paper focuses on the possible reasons for this phenomenon. Some brain lesions, such as those affecting the periventricular white matter and the cerebellum, may be underestimated if magnetic resonance imaging is not used. In addition, a functional neurological consequence is not necessarily due to a recognized brain lesion, but may simply derive from an abnormally or suboptimally developed brain structure. The quality of nutrition given to a preterm baby could play a crucial role in such cases. In fact, nutrition is known to affect brain function; a case in point is the improvement in visual function resulting from dietary essential fatty acids. Finally, research in this area should aim at both reducing potential hazards and improving the quality of perinatal care, including the quality of nutrition.
|Journal||Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition|
|Issue number||4 SUPPL. 3|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Food Science
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health