Scientific article

Growth and development of the brain and impact on cognitive outcomes

Published inNestlé Nutrition Workshop series. Paediatric program, vol. 65, p. 137-149;discussion149-51
Publication date2010

Understanding human brain development from the fetal life to adulthood is of great clinical importance as many neurological and neurobehavioral disorders have their origin in early structural and functional cerebral maturation. The developing brain is particularly prone to being affected by endogenous and exogenous events through the fetal and early postnatal life. The concept of 'developmental plasticity or disruption of the developmental program' summarizes these events. Increases in white matter, which speed up communication between brain cells, growing complexity of neuronal networks suggested by gray and white matter changes, and environmentally sensitive plasticity are all essential aspects in a child's ability to mentalize and maintain the adaptive flexibility necessary for achieving high sociocognitive functioning. Advancement in neuroimaging has opened up new ways for examining the developing human brain in vivo, the study of the effects of early antenatal, perinatal and neonatal events on later structural and functional brain development resulting in developmental disabilities or developmental resilience. In this review, methods of quantitative assessment of human brain development, such as 3D-MRI with image segmentation, diffusion tensor imaging to assess connectivity and functional MRI to visualize brain function will be presented.

  • Brain/embryology/growth & development
  • Cognition
  • Diagnostic Imaging/methods
  • Female
  • Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways/growth & development
  • Perinatal Care
  • Pregnancy
Citation (ISO format)
HÜPPI, Petra Susan. Growth and development of the brain and impact on cognitive outcomes. In: Nestlé Nutrition Workshop series. Paediatric program, 2010, vol. 65, p. 137–149;discussion149–51. doi: 10.1159/000281156
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1661-6677

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