High-density electroencephalography developmental neurophysiological trajectories


Efforts to document early changes in the developing brain have resulted in the construction of increasingly accurate structural images based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in newborn infants. Tractography diagrams obtained through diffusion tensor imaging have focused on white matter microstructure, with particular emphasis on neuronal connectivity at the level of fibre tract systems. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides a complementary approach with more direct access to brain electrical activity. Its temporal resolution is excellent, and its spatial resolution can be enhanced to physiologically relevant levels, through the combination of high-density recordings (e.g. by using 64 channels in newborn infants) and mathematical models (e.g. inverse modelling computation), to identify generators of different oscillation bands and synchrony patterns. The integration of functional and structural topography of the neonatal brain provides insights into typical brain organization, and the deviations seen in particular contexts, for example the effect of hypoxic-ischaemic insult in terms of damage, eventual reorganization, and functional changes. Endophenotypes can then be used for pathophysiological reasoning, management planning, and outcome measurements, and allow a longitudinal approach to individual developmental trajectories.

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