Cortical thickness decreases with age in very preterm born school-children but not in term born controls

Mürner, Ines; Nelle, Mathias; Steinlin, Maja; Rummel, Christian; Rummel, Christian; Perrig, Walter J.; Schroth, Gerhard; Everts, Regula (22 January 2014). Cortical thickness decreases with age in very preterm born school-children but not in term born controls (Unpublished). In: Joint Meeting of the Swiss Society for Neuroscience and the Clinical Neuroscience. Januar 2014.

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Background: Cortical gray matter thinning occurs during childhood due to pruning of inefficient synaptic connections and an increase in myelination. Preterms show alterations in brain structure, with prolonged maturation of the frontal lobes, smaller cortical volumes and reduced white matter volume. These findings give rise to the question if there is a differential influence of age on cortical thinning in preterms compared to controls.
Aims: To investigate the relationship between age and cortical thickness in preterms when compared to controls.
Study design and outcome measures: The automated surface reconstruction software FreeSurfer was applied to obtain measurements of cortical thickness based on T1-weighted MRI images.
Subjects: Forty-one preterms (< 32 weeks gestational age and/or < 1500 gram birth weight) and 30 controls were included in the study (7-12 years).
Results: Cortical thickness was lower in bilateral frontal and left parietal regions and higher in left temporal gyri in preterms compared to controls. However, these differences depended on age. In preterms, age correlated negatively with cortical thickness in right frontal, parietal and inferior temporal regions. Accordingly, cortical thickness was higher in young compared to old preterms in bilateral frontal, parietal and temporal regions. In controls, age was not associated with cortical thickness.
Conclusion: In preterms, cortical thinning still seems to occur between the age of 7 and 12 years, mainly in frontal and parietal areas whereas in controls, a substantial part of cortical thinning appears to be completed before they reach the age of 7 years. These data indicate slower cortical thinning in preterms than in controls.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Mürner-Lavanchy, Ines Mirjam, Nelle, Mathias, Steinlin, Maja, Rummel, Christian, Rummel, Christian, Perrig, Walter, Schroth, Gerhard, Everts, Regula


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2015 13:47

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:26


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