Predicting cognitive development at age 2 using AI and MRI

Predicting cognitive development at age 2 using AI and MRI
 

Researchers used MRI brain scans and machine learning techniques at birth to predict cognitive development at age 2 years with 95 percent accuracy.

"This prediction could help identify children at risk for poor cognitive development shortly after birth with high accuracy," said senior author. "For these children, an early intervention in the first year or so of life - when cognitive development is happening - could help improve outcomes. For example, in premature infants who are at risk, one could use imaging to see who could have problems."

The study, which was published by the journal NeuroImage, used an application of artificial intelligence called machine learning to look at white matter connections in the brain at birth and the ability of these connections to predict cognitive outcomes.

The senior author said researchers are working to find imaging biomarkers of risk for poor cognitive outcomes and for risk of neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. In this study, the researchers replicated the initial finding in a second sample of children who were born prematurely.

"Our study finds that the white matter network at birth is highly predictive and may be a useful imaging biomarker. The fact that we could replicate the findings in a second set of children provides strong evidence that this may be a real and generalizable finding," the senior author said.

http://news.unchealthcare.org/news/2019/march/ai-and-mris-at-birth-can-predict-cognitive-development-at-age-2-unc-study-finds

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053811919301569?via%3Dihub

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