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Using AI to Examine Pre-Surgical Brain MRI Scans

A new multicenter study performed will make use of artificial intelligence (AI) to examine pre-surgical brain MRI scans to anticipate individual-level language results in English- and Spanish-learning children up to four years following cochlear implantation.

Using AI to Examine Pre-Surgical Brain MRI Scans

Image Credit: Phonlamai Photo/

The long-lasting aim of the research is to tailor therapy to improve the hearing and language ability of children after receiving a cochlear implant.

The study received financial support of over $3 million from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders granted to Nancy M. Young, MD, from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and Patrick C. M. Wong, Ph.D., from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Although cochlear implantation is the only effective treatment to improve hearing and enable spoken language for children with severe to profound hearing loss, spoken language development after early implantation is more variable in comparison to children born with typical hearing.

Nancy M. Young, Medical Director, Audiology and Cochlear Implant Programs, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Dr. Young is the MD of Lillian S. Wells, Professor of Otolaryngology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Our study is the first to propose a ‘predict-to-prescribe’ approach to optimize language by determining which child may benefit from more intensive therapy. We believe this approach will be cost effective by targeting those most in need of additional therapy.

Nancy M. Young, Medical Director of Audiology and Cochlear Implant Programs, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

The study will assess how the AI-enabled anticipations of children’s language outcomes match the degree of language gains following an intensive Parent-Implemented Communication Treatment (PICT) program. PICT is known to be the only treatment of its kind where the efficacy has been tested by a randomized controlled trial.

We hypothesize that the more severe the predicted language impairment, the more the child could benefit from the communication treatment program. Our translational research will advance the field of communication disorders through technological, theoretical, and clinical innovations.

Dr. Patrick C. M Wong, Director, Brain and Mind Institute and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Linguistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

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