Cerebral palsy: research advances thanks to AI!

125,000 French people affected by cerebral palsy. A figure that could however be reduced thanks to artificial intelligence. This new hope will be studied as part of a research project led by the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

Four. This is the number of infants born every day in France with cerebral palsy, the leading cause of motor disability in children (full article linked below). It is estimated today that 125,000 French people suffered brain damage at birth, often due to a lack of oxygen or strangulation with the umbilical cord. As they grow, these children may develop a number of motor disorders, ranging from difficulty walking to severe impairment of all four limbs. Speech and vision impairments may also appear, sometimes accompanied by cognitive impairments.

A European research project to act early

If cerebral palsy, also called cerebral palsy (BMI), occurs very early, in the brain of the newborn or even during the development of the fetus in utero, it is however necessary to wait on average two to five years to see a first diagnosis. To reduce this time, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation is funding, from April 2022, a European research project. Entitled “Together”, it aims to “reliably detect cerebral palsy as early as possible (…), at a time when brain plasticity is particularly active”, with the ability to recreate “new neural circuits to bypass or compensate for those that have been harmed”. Acting early is the promise, according to the President of the Foundation, Alain Chatelin, of allowing the baby to benefit from “more effective individualized treatments to reduce deficits “.

The hopes of artificial intelligence

With a budget of 1.5 million euros, the “Ensemble” project lives up to its name since it brings together fifteen of the most advanced European research centers on the subject of early detection of cerebral palsy. This group is coordinated by a leading quartet led among others by the French researcher, specialist in “machine learning” Jean-Francois Mangin. The program conducted with 1,000 at-risk newborns over five years focuses particularly on new technologies. Thanks to artificial intelligence and in particular video analysis of movements, electroencephalography and brain imaging, cases of CMI could be diagnosed more quickly, with an appropriate therapeutic response. Welcome to the era of “personalized medicine”. Families will also be included in the research program. We know that the disease has a direct influence on their quality of life, the way in which parents organize their professional activity, their social relations… Thus “Together” also aims to study “the impact of early diagnosis of cerebral palsy on the psychological well-being of parents”.

Second project “historical”

This is the second time in its history that the Foundation has embarked on a project of such scope. The last one dates back to 2017, as part of the ESPaCe survey (Cerebral palsy satisfaction survey), which at the time wanted “promote international, multidisciplinary teams to achieve significant progress in this still poorly understood field” (article linked below). A ” five year term “ later, the Federation seems to be on the right track…

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Cerebral palsy: research advances thanks to AI!

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