NIH-Funded Study Uses AI to Improve Language for Children with Cochlear Implants

Newswise — A new multicenter study uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze preoperative brain MRI scans to predict stage-by-stage outcomes in English language and learning children. Spanish up to four years after cochlear implantation. The long-term goal of the research is to develop medication to improve hearing and speech in children after receiving a cochlear implant.

The study received more than $3 million in funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders awarded to Nancy M. Young, MD, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Patrick C.M. Wong, PhD, from Chinese University. of Hong Kong.

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“Although cochlear implantation is the only effective treatment to improve hearing and speech for children with severe and profound hearing loss, language development is more variable. after early implantation compared to children born with normal hearing.” said Dr. Young, Director of Audiology and Cochlear Implant Programs at Lurie Children’s and the Lillian S. Wells Professor of Otolaryngology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Our study is the first to provide a ‘predict-to-prescribe’ method to improve speech by determining which child will benefit from more aggressive treatment. We believe that this approach will pay off well by targeting those who are most interested in new medicine.

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The study will evaluate the relationship of AI-based predictors of children’s language outcomes with the level of language acquisition following an intensive program of Parent-Initiated Communication Treatment ( PICT). PICT is the only treatment of its kind supported by randomized controlled trials.

“We believe that the greater the predicted language impairment, the better the child will benefit from the speech therapy program,” explains Dr. Wong, is the Director of Brain and Mind Institute and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Linguistics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Our translational research advances the field of communication problems through technical, theoretical and innovative approaches.”

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The research was conducted at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago through the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. The Manne Research Institute is dedicated to improving child health, revolutionizing pediatric medicine and ensuring optimal health through the continuous pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children’s has been named one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. US News & World Report. It is the pediatric training center for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


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