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Gestational age affects brain development of a child

  1. The longer the gestational age, the greater the baby's brain volume. Even if the pregnancy is full-term. This is evident from research by Erasmus MC published today in JAMA Pediatrics.

  1. "We see an increase in the number of induces of labor in the Netherlands. This study argues for caution with this," said lead researcher Dr. Hanan El Marroun.

Greater brain volume

  1. The study shows that gestational age has an influence on brain volume. Every week that the child spent longer in the womb led to larger brain volumes measured at the age of 10 years. The study also shows that a longer gestational age - between 37 and 42 weeks - is related to an increase in the surface of the cerebral cortex and cranial fold, but not to the thickness of the cerebral cortex. This is probably because the thickness of the cerebral cortex is determined early in pregnancy.

Generation R Study

  1. The study was carried out in a large-scale population study in Rotterdam, the 'Generation R Study'. It follows the brain development of more than 3,000 children from early pregnancy to teenage years. A term ultrasound at the beginning of the pregnancy determined how long mothers were pregnant and the total gestational age was calculated at birth. Ten years later, the children underwent a brain scan, in which the brain was mapped.

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