Symposium and PhD Defense Sabrina Twilhaar – October 14th, 13:45

Very preterm birth has a long-lasting impact on the functioning of survivors in a wide range of developmental domains. While the survival rates for very preterm birth have greatly improved over the last decades, parallel improvements of neurodevelopmental outcomes failed to occur. As such, increasing numbers of very preterm born infants grow up with impairments, requiring support throughout childhood and beyond.

To advance the knowledge on the specific long-term impairments after very preterm birth and mechanisms that contribute to these impairments, the thesis covered four aims: (1) to provide insight in the nature of the impairments in a broad range of neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes after very preterm birth, (2) to identify perinatal and demographic risk factors for poor neurodevelopmental outcomes after very preterm birth, (3) to study the long-term effects of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition on neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes at 13 years of age, and (4) to increase the understanding of the underlying neurocognitive processes of these outcomes during adolescence.

Preceding the defense, a symposium will be organized on preterm birth, nutrition, and long-term follow-up. Internationally renowned researchers, among others prof. dr. Samantha Johnson (University of Leicester, Engeland), prof. dr. Pierre-Yves Ancel (EPOPĂ©, EPIPAGE, Frankrijk) en prof. dr. Hans van Goudoever (Amsterdam UMC) will discuss the major challenges that are associated with very preterm birth. The symposium will be in English.

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