A model of neurodevelopmental risk and protection for preterm infants

Rita H. Pickler, Jacqueline M. McGrath, Barbara A. Reyna, Nancy McCain, Mary Lewis, Sharon Cone, Paul Wetzel, Al Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to introduce a model of neurodevelopmental risk and protection that may explain some of the relationships among biobehavioral risks, environmental risks, and caregiving behaviors that potentially contribute to neurobehavioral and cognitive outcomes. Infants born before 30 weeks of gestation have the poorest developmental prognosis of all infants. These infants have lengthy hospitalization periods in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU,) an environment that is not always supportive of brain development and long-term developmental needs. The model supports the premise that interventions focused on neuroprotection during the neonatal period have the potential to positively affect long-term developmental outcomes for vulnerable very preterm infants. Finding ways to better understand the complex relationships among NICU-based interventions and long-term outcomes are important to guiding caregiving practices in the NICU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S11-S20
JournalAdvances in Neonatal Care
Issue number5 SUPPL
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive development
  • Feeding patterns
  • Neurobehavior
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Preterm infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A model of neurodevelopmental risk and protection for preterm infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this