FRONTIER and AIR-NB summary

This article aims to provide a summary of the main projects we have at BiSC: FRONTIER and AIR-NB.

In mid-December of last year, the final reports of the FRONTIER study were delivered, which are currently under review. Let’s remember that its main objective is to provide a solid and comprehensive evaluation of the impact of maternal exposure to traffic-related air pollution on fetal growth.

At the same time, starting from the same December of last year, work began on the analysis of the AIR-NB project. The general objective of AIR-NB is to assess the effect of prenatal exposure to urban air pollution on pre- and postnatal brain development.

To carry out a comprehensive evaluation of brain development, a series of tests were conducted at different periods, both prenatal and postnatal. These can be divided into four main categories: neurosonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Bayley scales, and eye-tracking.

  • The neurosonography part was carried out during the 32nd week of pregnancy, approximately. It consisted of a thorough exploration to assess the structural integrity and level of maturity of the fetal brain, as well as to detect any defects in the central nervous system.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was mainly performed in the month after birth. In this case, thanks to the use of magnetic fields and radio waves, detailed images of the brain were obtained.
  • The Bayley scales were administered at both 6 and 18 months of age. These are a series of tests evaluating cognitive, language (such as receptive and expressive communication), and motor skills (both fine and gross motor skills), among others.
  • As for eye-tracking, it was also conducted at both 6 and 18 months of age. It allows evaluating indicators such as anticipation or memory capacity.

As can be observed, thanks to the efforts of many people, a large amount of information has been extracted, which could lead to pioneering results in this field. It is expected that definitive publications derived from these studies will be released in the coming months.

This post has been written by Toni Galmes, data manager at the BiSC Project.