MRI brings fresh hope with views of babies' brains

U.K. researchers are utilizing MRI to watch the development of the brains of fetuses and babies to potentially better understand conditions such as autism.

The discoveries are part of the Developing Human Connectome Project (dHCP), through which King's College London, Imperial College London, and the University of Oxford are collaborating to monitor how the brain develops and functions during pregnancy and after birth.

Most importantly, the researchers have overcome imaging issues caused by the babies' movement and small size, as well as the need to keep vulnerable infants safe in the MRI scanners. The images are available to all researchers for their respective studies.

In addition, a group led by Dr. Daniel Rueckert at Imperial College London developed new computer programs to analyze the MR images.

The collaboration is funded by a Synergy Grant of 15 million euros from the European Research Council.

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