Artificial neural networks based prediction of cerebral palsy in infants with central coordination disturbance

Early Hum Dev. 2012 Jul;88(7):547-53. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Jan 26.


Background: In a previous study we demonstrated that heart variability parameters (HRV) could be helpful clinically as well as a prognostic tool in infants with central coordination disturbance (CCD). In recent years, outcome predictions using artificial neural networks (ANN) have been developed in many areas of health care research, but there are no published studies considered ANN models for prediction of cerebral palsy (CP) development.

Objective: To compare the results of an ANN analysis with results of regression analysis, using the same data set and the same clinical and HRV parameters.

Methods: The study included 35 infants with CCD and 37 healthy age and sex-matched controls. Time-domain HRV indices were analyzed from 24h electrocardiography recordings. Clinical parameters and selected time domain HRV parameters are used to predict CP by logistic regression, and then an ANN analysis was applied to the same data set. Input variables were age, gender, postural responses, heart rate parameters (minimum, maximum and average), and time domain parameters of HRV (SDNN, SDANN and RMSSD). For each of one the pairs of ANN and clinical predictors, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves with test accuracy parameters were calculated and compared.

Results: In the observed dataset, ANN model overall correctly classified all infants, compared with 86.11% correct classification for the logistic regression model, and compared with 67.65% and 77.14% for SDANN and SDNN respectively.

Conclusions: ANN model, based on clinical and HRV data can predict development of CP in patients with CCD with accuracy greater than 90%. Our results strongly indicate that a well-validated ANN may have a role in the clinical prediction of CP in infants with CCD.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia / complications
  • Ataxia / diagnosis*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnosis*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Forecasting / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Prognosis
  • ROC Curve