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A methodological review of fetal neurosonographic studies: new directions in assessment of neurodevelopmental risk for mental health problems

journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2020, 00:00 authored by S Whittle, M Finn, Keri LittleKeri Little, Craig OlssonCraig Olsson
Most mental disorders are now considered to have neurodevelopmental origins, with a growing body of research pointing to neural alterations that predate birth. However, lack of established methods for reliable investigation of fetal brain development has limited research into early neural vulnerability. Using a systematic approach and quantitative evaluation of study methodology, we review neurosonographic studies of fetal brain structure with objective quality measures. A total of 81 studies were identified. High quality studies were identified for measurement of the corpus callosum, cerebellum, vermis, ventricles and frontal cortex, with reference ranges provided to facilitate future clinical research. Fewer and lower quality studies were available for subcortical structures, prompting a need for further research to create reliable reference ranges. Development and adoption of reference ranges for fetal brain structures should facilitate future research in neurosonographic evaluation of fetal brain development and lead to a better understanding of neurodevelopmental risk and resilience processes for mental disorders.

History

Journal

Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews

Volume

114

Pagination

172 - 193

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0149-7634

eISSN

1873-7528

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal