One in every ten babies is premature, but what are premature babies? A premature baby is a baby who is not in the mother full term, meaning it was born before the 37th week of pregnancy. A preemie baby’s vital organs have not had the necessary final weeks in the womb to develop fully and healthily. Premature births are the leading cause of death in children younger than five.
Doctors have discovered brain mapping premature babies’ brains to prevent or notice further development problems. Dr. Steven P. Miller of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada researched premature babies that were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He and his team brain mapped and scanned for lesions using an MRI and found that the babies would have further complications because they were not carried full term and given enough time to mature. Lesions are small areas of injury to the brain’s white matter. Dr. Miller said “Babies born too early have a higher risk of thinking, language and movement problems throughout their lives, so being able to better predict what developmental problems the baby will face is important.” The small areas of injury to the frontal lobe predicted thinking problems. The frontal lobe is the area that helps with memory, language, problem solving and movement skills.
Over the seven years that Doctor Miller worked with the babies, he noticed they lacked the average child’s skills and struggled with everyday tasks. He also added that future, more advanced, studies would have to be done to determine long term development problems.
In conclusion, we cannot prevent premature births, but we can predict their future development using the resources provided. Brain mapping can help the parents prepare for the future of parenthood. It can be informative and helpful to previously know what development problems their children will have. Brain scanning does not harm the baby. Although it is not mandatory it is recommended.
Here are some videos, the first one is an interview with Doctor Terrie Inder, she will tell us about premature births and their risks for major learning difficulties.
The second video is a story of a family that is having to deal with the struggles of pre-term babies. The doctors caring for the baby say that they have discovered a brain mapping MRI that will give information back to the doctor immediately. The doctors say that this revolutionary advancement will help prevent further issues with premature babies and their struggles.
Why are lesions important to detect?
Who is Doctor Stephen P Miller?
Why do organs need the full 37 weeks to mature?