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Motor abilities in adolescents born preterm are associated with microstructure of the corpus callosum

Motor abilities in adolescents born preterm are associated with microstructure of the corpus callosum
Motor abilities in adolescents born preterm are associated with microstructure of the corpus callosum

Background: Preterm birth is associated with increased risk of neuromotor impairment. Rates of major neuromotor impairment (cerebral palsy) have decreased; however, in a large proportion of those who do not develop cerebral palsy impaired neuromotor function is observed and this often has implications for everyday life. The aim of this study was to investigate motor performance in preterm born adolescents without cerebral palsy, and to examine associations with alterations of motor system pathway structure.


Design/Methods: Thirty-two adolescents (12 males) without cerebral palsy, born before 33 weeks of gestation (mean 27.4 weeks, SD 2.4; birth weight mean 1084.5 g; SD 387.2), treated at a single tertiary unit, were assessed (median age 16 years; min 14, max 18). Timed performance and quality of movements were assessed with the Zürich Neuromotor Assessment. Neuroimaging included Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging for tractography of the major motor tracts and measurement of fractional anisotropy as a measure of microstructure of the tracts along the major motor pathways. Separate analyses were conducted for areas with predominantly single and predominantly crossing fibre regions.

Results: Motor performance in both tasks assessing timed performance and quality of movements, was poorer than expected in the preterm group in relation to norm population. The strongest significant correlations were seen between performance in tasks assessing movement quality and fractional anisotropy in corpus callosum fibres connecting primary motor, primary somatosensory and premotor areas. In addition, timed motor performance was significantly related to fractional anisotropy in the cortico-spinal and thalamo-cortical to premotor area fibres, and the corpus callosum.

Conclusions: Impairments in motor abilities are present in preterm born adolescents without major neuromotor impairment and in the absence of focal brain injury. Altered microstructure of the corpus callosum microstructure appears a crucial factor, in particular for movement quality.
1664-2295
Groeschel, Samuel
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Holmstrom, Linda
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Northam, Gemma
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Tournier, J.-Donald
6e26fa5b-7a70-43a9-9810-f0bdcd576ade
Baldeweg, Torsten
e6ba710f-1634-48fe-84b9-84141cc2ad54
Latal, Beatrice
69a44679-3690-47ca-a368-858b11a0f504
Caflisch, Jon
da7d6018-c9a4-4f14-8df9-877c81923e7e
Vollmer, Brigitte
044f8b55-ba36-4fb2-8e7e-756ab77653ba
Groeschel, Samuel
2eecc1ae-2cca-4e75-81ef-d906e0e82f93
Holmstrom, Linda
739be7b2-5607-456a-a358-b1910bcc94b6
Northam, Gemma
84934033-6e45-429e-93d6-907a05c5b0d0
Tournier, J.-Donald
6e26fa5b-7a70-43a9-9810-f0bdcd576ade
Baldeweg, Torsten
e6ba710f-1634-48fe-84b9-84141cc2ad54
Latal, Beatrice
69a44679-3690-47ca-a368-858b11a0f504
Caflisch, Jon
da7d6018-c9a4-4f14-8df9-877c81923e7e
Vollmer, Brigitte
044f8b55-ba36-4fb2-8e7e-756ab77653ba

Groeschel, Samuel, Holmstrom, Linda, Northam, Gemma, Tournier, J.-Donald, Baldeweg, Torsten, Latal, Beatrice, Caflisch, Jon and Vollmer, Brigitte (2019) Motor abilities in adolescents born preterm are associated with microstructure of the corpus callosum. Frontiers in Neurology, 10. (doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00367).

Record type: Article

Abstract


Background: Preterm birth is associated with increased risk of neuromotor impairment. Rates of major neuromotor impairment (cerebral palsy) have decreased; however, in a large proportion of those who do not develop cerebral palsy impaired neuromotor function is observed and this often has implications for everyday life. The aim of this study was to investigate motor performance in preterm born adolescents without cerebral palsy, and to examine associations with alterations of motor system pathway structure.


Design/Methods: Thirty-two adolescents (12 males) without cerebral palsy, born before 33 weeks of gestation (mean 27.4 weeks, SD 2.4; birth weight mean 1084.5 g; SD 387.2), treated at a single tertiary unit, were assessed (median age 16 years; min 14, max 18). Timed performance and quality of movements were assessed with the Zürich Neuromotor Assessment. Neuroimaging included Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging for tractography of the major motor tracts and measurement of fractional anisotropy as a measure of microstructure of the tracts along the major motor pathways. Separate analyses were conducted for areas with predominantly single and predominantly crossing fibre regions.

Results: Motor performance in both tasks assessing timed performance and quality of movements, was poorer than expected in the preterm group in relation to norm population. The strongest significant correlations were seen between performance in tasks assessing movement quality and fractional anisotropy in corpus callosum fibres connecting primary motor, primary somatosensory and premotor areas. In addition, timed motor performance was significantly related to fractional anisotropy in the cortico-spinal and thalamo-cortical to premotor area fibres, and the corpus callosum.

Conclusions: Impairments in motor abilities are present in preterm born adolescents without major neuromotor impairment and in the absence of focal brain injury. Altered microstructure of the corpus callosum microstructure appears a crucial factor, in particular for movement quality.

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Accepted/In Press date: 25 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 16 April 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 430130
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/430130
ISSN: 1664-2295
PURE UUID: 9bfe39ea-7481-461c-905b-e6921ca2a233
ORCID for Brigitte Vollmer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4088-5336

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Date deposited: 12 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 17 Apr 2019 00:32

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