Both fetal and infant weight growth are associated with subsequent cerebral and cerebellar brain volumes at the age of 10 years.
Why this matters
Although preterm birth and low birth weight have a widely known association with brain developmental and neurocognitive outcomes in childhood, little is known about the critical periods in fetal life and infancy for these outcomes.
This large population-based study sought to address this knowledge gap and found that children with fetal weight deceleration followed by infant catch-up growth have comparable brain volumes at the age of 10 years to those with normal growth patterns. The findings further our understanding of the critical growth periods in early life that could affect future neurocognitive outcomes.