How artificial intelligence could ameliorate the diagnosis of patients with Alzheimer’s

A recent study released in Nature Reviews: Neurology found that Alzheimer’s disease could be diagnosed faster and efficiently using artificial intelligence (AI).

The study, conducted by the University of Sheffield, looks at the use of AI technologies, like machine learning, in healthcare to reduce the workflow and economic effects of traditional methods for detecting neurodegenerative diseases.

In their study, the use of machine learning in assessing cognitive function was initiated in conjunction with biotech company BenevolentAI.

The Sheffield team, along with BenevolentAI, demonstrated in their findings how machine learning algorithms could be efficient for the detection of the brain regions implicated before the onset of rapid cognitive decline or development of Alzheimer’s.

“Widespread implementation of AI technologies can help, for example, predict which patients showing mild cognitive impairment will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease, or how severely their motor skills will decline over time,” said Laura Ferraiuolo, the study’s lead author.

“AI-powered technologies can also be used to help patients communicate their symptoms remotely and in the privacy of their own homes, which will be an enormous benefit to patients with mobility issues.”

Moreover, machine learning algorithms could pick up on changes caused by neurodegenerative diseases as evident in medical images or more particular patient information, serving as a useful diagnostic aid.

“It is too early to talk about outcomes in terms of treatments but, in this study, we examined how machine learning methods can be used to identify the best course of treatment for patients based on their disease progression or how it could be used to identify new therapeutic targets and drugs,” stated Monika Myszczynska, co-author of the study, in a news release.

“Further research will now focus on the improvement of current diagnostic technologies, as well as a generation of new algorithms to make the use of AI in prognosis prediction and drug discovery a reality. AI feeds on data, therefore generation of international consortia and collaborations are the key to these future endeavours.”

Image courtesy of Vectorform
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