Could Reducing Painful Procedures Help Premature Infants’ Brains?

Premature infants born earlier than 28 weeks gestation who experience fewer needle pokes while receiving life-saving care in the neonatal intensive care unit may have better growth of a part of the brain called the thalamus. The new study is published in the October 21, 2020, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The thalamus is a structure at the center of the brain. One of its functions is to relay sensory information from the body to the rest of the brain, where it is then interpreted as sensations like pain, touch or temperature.