Prof. Jill Heathcock

United States
Scientific Field: 
April, 2022 to June, 2022

LE STUDIUM Research Professorship 


The Ohio State University - USA

In residence at

Imaging and Brain laboratory (iBrain) / INSERM, University of Tours - FR

Host scientists

Prof. Frédérique Bonnet-Brilhault & Prof. Delphine Mitanchez


Adding movement analysis to detect neurodevelopmental impairments in infants of obese mothers


Obesity during pregnancy is a public health concern because there are adverse consequences for the mother and the infant. Infants of mothers who are obese are at risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities. The most promising target to improve outcomes for the child is through early identification of disability. One of the most challenging issues in health and medicine is the accurate identification of disability during the infancy period -- before babies are able to walk and talk. General Movement Analysis (GMA) is an objective measure of spontaneous movement used to detect poor neurodevelopment. We will implement the GMA in Tours in order to identify risk factors for poor neurodevelopment much earlier than is currently possible. This project will test 200 infants (100 infants of obese mothers, and 100 infants of mothers with health weight) at birth, 3.5 months of age, and 24 months of age over 4 years. It is important to follow infants and families over time to see how they develop communication and motor skills.