Cerebral motor function in very premature-at-birth adolescents: a brain stimulation exploration of kangaroo mother care effects
Article first published online: 17 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Author(s)/Acta Pædiatrica © 2012 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica
Volume 101, Issue 10, pages 1045–1053, October 2012
How to Cite
Schneider, C., Charpak, N., Ruiz-Peláez, J. G. and Tessier, R. (2012), Cerebral motor function in very premature-at-birth adolescents: a brain stimulation exploration of kangaroo mother care effects. Acta Paediatrica, 101: 1045–1053. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2012.02770.x
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JUL 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 26 JUN 2012 12:31PM EST
- Received 13 February 2012; revised 12 June 2012; accepted 19 June 2012.
- Kangaroo mother care;
- Motor function;
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Aim: Given that prematurity has deleterious effects on brain networking development beyond childhood, the study explored whether an early intervention such as Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) in very preterm preemies could have influenced brain motor function up to adolescence.
Methods: Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the primary motor cortex (M1) of 39 adolescents born very prematurely (<33 weeks’ gestational age, 21 having received KMC after birth, 18 Controls with no KMC) and nine adolescents born at term (>37 weeks’ gestational age, >2500 g) to assess the functional integrity of motor circuits in each hemisphere (motor planning) and between hemispheres (callosal function).
Results: All TMS outcomes were similar between KMC and term adolescents, with typical values as in healthy adults, and better than in Controls. KMC adolescents presented faster conduction times revealing more efficient M1 cell synchronization (p < 0.05) and interhemispheric transfer time (p < 0.0001), more frequent inhibitory processes with a better control between hemispheres (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The enhanced synchronization, conduction times and connectivity of cerebral motor pathways in the KMC group suggests that the Kangaroo Mother Care positively influenced the premature brain networks and synaptic efficacy up to adolescence.