We will conduct a prospective infant cohort study of functional neuroimaging (functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and electroencephalography (EEG)), growth, behavioural and socio-demographic measures in 200 Gambian and 50 British infants from birth to 18 months of age. The acquired data will be the first longitudinal dataset of functional neuroimaging from birth and matched between two diverse population groups. The choice of the functional neuroimaging paradigms has been specifically designed to gather data on a range of cognitive domains and functional connectivity, and enable the calculation of brain function-for-age reference curves. These curves will be used to establish typical and atypical trajectories of neurocognitive development in Gambian infants and importantly in UK infants who will provide a valuable cross cultural reference. The size of the Gambian cohort will also allow for an assessment of the impact of early growth faltering on neurodevelopmental trajectories during the study period. The results generated by this project will enable us to identify critical windows for developmental delay and guide future proof of concept interventions to protect the at risk brain and reduce long term neurological deficit.
Below is a visual showing the BRIGHT schedule of assessment from birth to 24 months.