NEBO: Neonatal Encephalopathy Brain Outcomes: Prospective study of Clinical and MRI Biomarkers in term born infants to improve accurate early prediction of Cerebral Palsy

10 March 2022

The aim of the NEBO study is to determine the ability of clinical assessments and neuroimaging to predict neurodevelopmental outcomes in children at high risk of a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. The study is recruiting infants born greater than 35 week’s gestation within the first 10 days of life with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). They are being recruited from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Mater Mothers’ Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Units. A cranial MRI is performed after the infant is medically stable and is scored using a standardized MRI scoring system. Motor, cognitive and neurological assessments are then completed at 1-10 days after birth and at 3- and 24- months-of-age.

The study has recruited 67 term born infants with HIE from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) and the Mater Mothers’ Hospital (MMH). Infants complete an MRI at baseline (1-10 days after birth) and other assessments at baseline and at 3 months-of-age including neurological, visual and a GMs Assessment. At 24 months infants complete neurological, medical, motor and cognitive assessments. Recruitment has progressed well with 15 infants recruited from the RBWH and 52 infants recruited from the MMH. To date, 29 participants have completed 24 month assessments.


This project is funded by the Advance Queensland Innovation Partnerships Program Grant 16-103. Chief Investigators: Prof. Roslyn N Boyd, Prof. Paul Colditz, Dr Pieter Koorts, Prof. Alan Coulthard, Dr Jane Bursle, Prof. Helen Liley, Prof. Stephen Rose, Dr Kerstin Pannek, Dr Jurgen Fripp, Dr Joanne George, Dr Nicola Previtera, Prof. Boualem Boashash, Prof. Rob Ware, A/Prof. Josh Byrne, Prof. Paul Scuffham, Dr Simona Fiori, A/Prof. Andrea Guzzetta.