- Cerebral white matter spectra showed significantly greater levels of inositol (a molecule similar to glucose) for babies fed breast milk, compared with babies fed formula.
- Cerebellar spectra had significantly greater creatine levels for breastfed babies compared with infants fed formula.
- And the percentage of days infants were fed breast milk was associated with significantly greater levels of both creatine and choline, a water soluble nutrient.
Already, Children's National leverages an array of imaging options that describe normal brain growth, which makes it easier to spot when fetal or neonatal brain development goes awry, enabling earlier intervention and more effective treatment. "Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy may serve as an important additional tool to advance our understanding of how breastfeeding boosts neurodevelopment for preterm infants," Limperopoulos adds.
Contacts and sources:
Diedtra HendersonChildren's National Health System
Citation: "Improved cerebral and cerebellar metabolism in breast milk-fed VLBW infants."
Monday, April 29, 2019, 3:30-3:45 p.m. (EST)
Katherine M. Ottolini, lead author; Nickie Andescavage, M.D., Attending, Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and co-author; Kushal Kapse, research and development staff engineer and co-author; Sudeepta Basu, M.D., neonatologist and co-author; and Catherine Limperopoulos, Ph.D., director of MRI Research of the Developing Brain and senior author, all of Children's National.