Neonatal brain abnormalities and memory and learning outcomes at 7 years in children born very preterm Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.


  • Omizzolo, C
  • Scratch, S
  • Stargatt, R
  • Kidokoro, H
  • Thompson, D
  • Lee, K
  • Cheong, J
  • Neil, J
  • Inder, T
  • Doyle, L
  • Anderson, P

publication date

  • 2014

published in