Neonatal brain abnormalities and memory and learning outcomes at 7 years in children born very preterm

Cristina Omizzolo, Shannon E. Scratch, Robyn Stargatt, Hiroyuki Kidokoro, Deanne K. Thompson, Katherine J. Lee, Jeanie Cheong, Jeffrey Neil, Terrie E. Inder, Lex W. Doyle, Peter J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Using prospective longitudinal data from 198 very preterm and 70 full term children, this study characterised the memory and learning abilities of very preterm children at 7 years of age in both verbal and visual domains. The relationship between the extent of brain abnormalities on neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and memory and learning outcomes at 7 years of age in very preterm children was also investigated. Neonatal MRI scans were qualitatively assessed for global, white-matter, cortical grey-matter, deep grey-matter, and cerebellar abnormalities. Very preterm children performed less well on measures of immediate memory, working memory, long-term memory, and learning compared with term-born controls. Neonatal brain abnormalities, and in particular deep grey-matter abnormality, were associated with poorer memory and learning performance at 7 years in very preterm children. Findings support the importance of cerebral neonatal pathology for predicting later memory and learning function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-615
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Gestational age
  • Memory and learning
  • Neonatal brain abnormalities
  • Very preterm


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