Regional electroencephalogram (EEG) spectral power and hemispheric coherence in young adults born at extremely low birth weight
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OBJECTIVES: We examined the effects of extremely low birth weight (ELBW<1000 g) on adult brain functioning. METHODS: We measured baseline regional EEG spectral power and hemispheric coherence in a cohort of 154 (M age=23 years) non-impaired young adults who were born at ELBW (n=71; M birth weight=874 g, M gestation age=27.5 weeks) and in a control group of full-term adults born at normal birth weight (NBW; n=83). RESULTS: ELBW adults exhibited significantly more power in the low EEG frequency bands (delta and theta) and less in the high EEG frequency bands (alpha and beta) than the NBW adults. This relative difference in the amount of high to low-frequency power was especially salient in the frontal regions. ELBW adults also exhibited significantly more short-distance EEG coherence in the right hemisphere compared to the NBW adults. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that even among ELBW survivors without impairments, adverse events early in life may result in subtle neurological abnormalities. SIGNIFICANCE: This study provides a unique EEG profile of young adult survivors of ELBW showing that maturational delays of the brain may persist into late adolescence and emerging adulthood.
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