The brain morphology of preterm neonatal infants that are exposed to high levels of breast milk (BM) closely resemble that of term-born infants, suggesting that high BM exposure can optimize cortical development.
Why this matters
Preterm infants exposed to high levels of BM in their early weeks of life have improved neurocognitive outcomes. However, the underlying neural substrates are poorly understood.
Understanding the links between BM and cortical development can help improve neurocognitive outcomes for preterm infants, possibly reducing the risk of neurocognitive impairment and psychiatric disease in later life.