Clue Found to Cognitive Problems in Preemie Boys

This MRI shows regions where white matter volumes were significantly reduced in boys born preterm.

This MRI shows regions where white matter volumes were significantly reduced in boys born preterm. Blue marks the temporal lobe and red the deep cerebral region. Journal of Pediatrics hide caption

itoggle caption Journal of Pediatrics
This MRI shows regions where white matter volumes were significantly reduced in boys born preterm.

This MRI shows regions where white matter volumes were significantly reduced in boys born preterm. Blue marks the temporal lobe and red the deep cerebral region. Journal of Pediatrics hide caption

itoggle caption Journal of Pediatrics

Researchers have known that boys born prematurely are at a greater risk for developmental and cognitive problems than girls. A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics finds an intriguing reason why. Premature boys, by age 8, have less white matter — the material that allows different parts of the brain to communicate with each other. NPR's Michelle Trudeau reports.

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