PREBO: Neurodevelopment of the preterm infant

January 2015December 2019
National Health and Medical Research Council

Chief Investigators: Colditz P, Boyd R, Malhotra A, Rose S, Boashash B, Ditchfield M, Fahey M, Pannek K, Moldrich R

Rationale: Prematurity is the cause of ≈40% CP; and 10-15% of infants born <30wks will develop CP, however most are not diagnosed until 12-24 months, limiting access to early intervention. 

Design: Prospective cohort study of 300 preterm infants and 40 healthy, term controls. 

Aims: To examine the relationship between brain structure on MRI and function (General Movements, neurological/neurobehavioral) at 30 and 40 weeks post menstrual age (PMA), to predict neuromotor outcome at 12 wks C.A. and 24 months (Bayley III). 

Update: We have undertaken earlier MRI at 30 and 40 weeks PMA in n=120/300 preterm infants to determine the best combination of clinical, imaging and EEG markers for early detection of mild, moderate or severe CP. 

New knowledge: Preliminary findings have shown relationships between bedside clinical tools and MRI markers of WMI at 30 weeks PMA. Very early markers that correspond with developing CP will enable earlier referral to intervention and enable measurement of the effects of earlier interventions.

Project members

Professor Paul Colditz

Deputy Director & Affiliate Professor
UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Perinatal Research Centre
Group Head, Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory
Head of School
School of Clinical Medicine
  • Professor Roslyn Boyd, Scientific Director of the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre 
  • Professor Stephen Rose, Senior Principal Research Scientist CSIRO