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Machine Learning of Infant Spontaneous Movements for the Early Prediction of Cerebral Palsy: A Multi-Site Cohort Study

Ihlen, E. A. F.; Støen, R.; Boswell, L.; Regnier, R. A.; Fjørtoft, T.; Gaebler-Spira, D.; Labori, C.; Loennecken, M. C.; Msall, M. E.; Möinichen, U. I.; Peyton, C.; Schreiber, M. D.; Silberg, I. E.; Songstad, N. T.; Vågen, R. T.; Øberg, G. K.; Adde, L.

J Clin Med. 2019 Dec 22; 9(1)


BACKGROUND: Early identification of cerebral palsy (CP) during infancy will provide opportunities for early therapies and treatments. The aim of the present study was to present a novel machine-learning model, the Computer-based Infant Movement Assessment (CIMA) model, for clinically feasible early CP prediction based on infant video recordings. METHODS: The CIMA model was designed to assess the proportion (%) of CP risk-related movements using a time-frequency decomposition of the movement trajectories of the infant's body parts. The CIMA model was developed and tested on video recordings from a cohort of 377 high-risk infants at 9-15 weeks corrected age to predict CP status and motor function (ambulatory vs. non-ambulatory) at mean 3.7 years age. The performance of the model was compared with results of the general movement assessment (GMA) and neonatal imaging. RESULTS: The CIMA model had sensitivity (92.7%) and specificity (81.6%), which was comparable to observational GMA or neonatal cerebral imaging for the prediction of CP. Infants later found to have non-ambulatory CP had significantly more CP risk-related movements (median: 92.8%, p = 0.02) compared with those with ambulatory CP (median: 72.7%). CONCLUSION: The CIMA model may be a clinically feasible alternative to observational GMA.

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