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Matthew Colonnese, PhD, Seeks to Improve Diagnostic Utility of Neonatal EEGs

Researchers at the George Washington University (GW) are laying the groundwork for a future in which health care providers can more accurately diagnose brain injury and dysfunction in newborns with the use of an inexpensive and non-invasive diagnostic tool — electroencephalography (EEG).

Fetus in womb

The research, led by Matthew Colonnese, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently funded with more than $4 million in grants from the National Eye Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The researchers seek to expand current knowledge of how changes in brain connections to the cerebral cortex control the normal development of brain activity that occurs around the time of birth.

Despite more than 65 years of EEG use on newborns, understanding of rhythmic cortical activity patterns associated with brain development and injury is limited. The funding will enable the research team to help improve the interpretation and understanding of the EEG in babies, both preterm and full term.