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AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development at age 2

Date:
March 15, 2019
Source:
University of North Carolina Health Care
Summary:
Researchers used MRI brain scans and machine learning techniques at birth to predict cognitive development at age 2 years with 95 percent accuracy.
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Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine 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 John H. Gilmore, MD, Thad and Alice Eure Distinguished Professor of psychiatry and director of the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. "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 online 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.

Gilmore said researchers at UNC and elsewhere 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," he said.

Jessica B. Girault, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, is the study's lead author. UNC co-authors are Barbara D. Goldman, PhD, of UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Juan C. Prieto, PhD, assistant professor, and Martin Styner, PhD, director of the Neuro Image Research and Analysis Laboratory in the department of psychiatry.

Funding support for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of North Carolina Health Care. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica B. Girault, Brent C. Munsell, Danaële Puechmaille, Barbara D. Goldman, Juan C. Prieto, Martin Styner, John H. Gilmore. White matter connectomes at birth accurately predict cognitive abilities at age 2. NeuroImage, 2019; 192: 145 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.060

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University of North Carolina Health Care. "AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development at age 2." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 March 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315100048.htm>.
University of North Carolina Health Care. (2019, March 15). AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development at age 2. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 22, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315100048.htm
University of North Carolina Health Care. "AI and MRIs at birth can predict cognitive development at age 2." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190315100048.htm (accessed February 22, 2024).

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