Amygdala subnuclei volumes, functional connectivity and social–emotional outcomes in children born very preterm

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Abstract

Children born very preterm can demonstrate social-cognitive impairments, which may result from limbic system dysfunction. Altered development of the subnuclei of the amygdala, stress-sensitive regions involved in emotional processing, may be a key predictor of social-skill development.

In a prospective cohort study, 7-year-old children born very preterm underwent neurodevelopmental testing and brain MRI. The Child Behavioral Checklist (CBCL) was used to assess social–emotional outcomes. Subnuclei volumes were extracted automatically from structural scans (n = 69) and functional connectivity (n = 66) was examined. General Linear Models were employed to examine the relationships between amygdala subnuclei volumes and functional connectivity values and social–emotional outcomes.

Sex was a significant predictor of all social–emotional outcomes (P 
Dysregulated maturation of the amygdala subnuclei, along with altered connectivity strength in stress-sensitive regions, may reflect stress-induced dysfunction and can be predictive of social–emotional outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalCerebral Cortex Communications
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2022

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