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Neural Discrimination in Neonates with Noncyanotic Left Heart Disease

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab

PIs: Lila Seidl-Mlczoch, Lisa Bartha-Doering

Project nr. 202303

Duration 2023-2025

The aim of the research project is to investigate early patterns of neural discrimination in children with congenital heart disase. 6-8/1000 children are born with a congenital heart defect. Newborns with complex cardiac disease will require intervention or surgery within the first months of life. Research shows that a proportion of these children suffer from neurodevelopmental delays. The origin of these cognitive impairments is currently not completely understood. Recent studies propose a fetal origin based on fetal magnetic resonance imaging studies in children with congenital heart disease. In addition to fetal abnormalities such as sulcation disorders or lower brain volumes, postnatal factors including white matter injury and hemodynamic insults will influence postnatal neurodevelopmental development in these children. With this project we want to learn more about the very early cognitive development of these children before any postnatal intervention is performed. In addition, fetal magnetic resonance imaging results will be correlated with the findings. This study should help gaining information on patterns of early connectivity alterations in predicting cognitive delays in combination with in utero brain information. Thus, early therapeutic programs can be initiated.