Cognitive dysfunction and brain development in 13-year-old very preterm children – VIBeS Longitudinal Cohort Study. The VIBeS cohort is the world’s largest prospective longitudinal neuroimaging and neurodevelopmental study of very preterm and term children. This cohort has undergone brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at term equivalent age and seven years old, and neurodevelopmental assessments at two, five and seven years of age. The current study involves a 13-year follow-up of the VIBeS cohort and is seeking to better understand how cognitive skills develop in preterm children, and how brain injury and brain development underpin cognitive impairments. It aims to determine if cognitive impairments in preterm children worsen or improve with age, providing essential knowledge for diagnosis and management. It is also trying to determine whether neonatal MRI scans can predict cognitive deficits in preterm 13-year-olds, enhancing early detection and intervention for those at high risk. Finally, the study aims to describe brain atypicalities in preterm 13-year-olds and their association with cognitive deficits to aid our understanding of prematurity-related neuroplasticity.

Melbourne Children’s Consortium for Lifecourse Research Study Summary
Study name Victorian Infant Brain Study
Study abbreviation VIBeS
Current principal investigator/s A/Professor Peter Anderson
Current project manager A/Professor Peter Anderson
Primary Institution Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Collaborating institutions The Royal Women’s Hospital
Study website
Study focus Documenting the evolution of brain alterations and neurobehavioural impairments in premature infants.
Sampling frame 227 preterm children (born <30 weeks’ gestation or with birthweight <1250g) recruited from eligible admissions to the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne; control sample of 90 term children (born 37 to 42 weeks’ gestation)
Year commenced 2001
Commencement sample (N) Preterm: 210 from birth
Term: 47 from birth plus 43 from age 2
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, etc)? No
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? No
Imaging (e.g. FMRI, Ultrasound, etc)? Qualitative MRI
3-Dimensional Quantitative Volumetric Processing
Diffusion Tensor MRI
Functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI)
Brain ultrasound
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, etc)? No

Principal Investigator

A/Professor Peter Anderson
+613 9936 6704

Senior Research Officer

Dr Karli Treyvaud
+613 9936 6719

Research Nurse Coordinator

Merilyn Bear
+613 9345 4836

Office Manager

Debbie Cations
+613 9345 4830