BRAIN-BEHAVIOUR RELATIONSHIPS

The relationships between stress and brain development has been a focus of PIRI research and led to longitudinal research in high-risk preterm infants (NHMRC 2006-13). An intervention to train parents as therapists for their preterm infant resulted in landmark publications demonstrating improved infant brain connectivity (visible on MRI scans) following this stress-reduction intervention (Milgrom et al., 2010, Ped Res, 67) and a positive impact on early infant development including structure and connectivity in brain white matter (Milgrom et al., 2010; Milgrom et al., 2013).

We have now published the primary outcomes from a large NHMRC-funded RCT of PremieStart (Milgrom, Martin, et al., 2019) and several associated publications are in preparation for peer reviewed journals. We are currently funded by Austin Medical Research Fund for a 9-year follow up academic achievement in children from this cohort.