Advancing MRI Scans for Foetal Development

“Mapping the development of babies while they are still in the womb is the premise of a European project which aims to design techniques designed to pinpoint problems earlier, and develop appropriate therapies.

The dHCP (‘Developing Human Connectome Project’) project aims to create a picture of how babies’ brains develop and how they form connections – particularly during the third trimester. This is being made possible thanks to a synergy grant from the European Research Council (ERC) of EUR 3.2 million.

The project has a team of engineers, mathematicians and scientists and is being led by Professor David Edwards from King’s College London, alongside colleague Professor Joseph Hanjal, and together with Professor Daniel Rueckert from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London and Professor Steve Smith from the University of Oxford. Their aim is to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to track brain connectivity in foetuses and newborns, providing insights into neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism.”

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