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Premature birth alters brain connections: More connections to face, fewer elsewhere

Premature birth can alter the connectivity between key areas of the brain, according to a new study. The findings should help researchers to better understand why premature birth is linked to a greater risk of neurodevelopmental problems, including autistic spectrum disorders and attention deficit disorders. Stronger connections involving face and lips in babies born preterm may reflect their early exposure to breastfeeding and bottlefeeding, while the reduced connectivity in other brain regions may be linked to the higher incidence of difficulties seen in later childhood.
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