Last spring, UT Southwest Medical Center began utilizing an analytical tool typically used for predicting long term weather patterns. But instead of meteorology, the team of pediatric researchers used the tool to help reduce brain injury in infants who suffered oxygen deprivation during birth.

 

According to World Scientific, wavelet analysis has been used rigorously and with growing frequency in a variety of fields:

“Wavelet analysis and its applications have been one of the fastest growing research areas in the past several years. Wavelet theory has been employed in numerous fields and applications, such as signal and image processing, communication systems, biomedical imaging, radar, air acoustics, and many other areas,” World Scientific states.

 

In relation to NICU practices, wavelet analysis technology seemingly helps fill the void where other monitoring is falling short, giving the ability to better modify care for the patient when necessary. Nature.com breaks down the benefits of this tool as such:

“The challenge in the field of neonatal brain injury has been the difficulty to clinically discern the mild-moderate NE severity within the short therapeutic window after birth. A sensitive and specific physiological marker that directly assesses neurovascular function in real-time, and is a marker of clinical outcomes, is critically needed to guide therapies,” according to nature.com. 

 

The author of the study, Dr. Lina Chalak, comments on what the overall hopes were in studying this tool in relation to brain injuries in babies. She stated,

“These are babies to whom something catastrophic happened at birth. What this technology does is measure physiologic parameters of the brain — blood flow and nerve cell activity — to produce a real-time image of what we are calling ‘neurovascular coupling.’ If there is high coherence between these two variables, you know that things are going well,” said Dr. Chalak, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study.

These are babies to whom something catastrophic happened at birth. What this technology does is measure physiologic parameters of the brain -- blood flow and nerve cell activity -- to produce a real-time image of what we are calling 'neurovascular… Click To Tweet

 

The advances in this area are incredibly exciting! How can you see implementing these strategies within your own NICU?

 

Read the original article here.

 

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