In news that is encouraging to millions of individuals and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease, Scientific American reportson researchers from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam who suggest AI and Machine Learning — already making waves in other industries — could eventually allow automated screening and assisted diagnosis of various forms of dementia, particularly in medical centers that lack experienced neuroradiologists.
By applying artificial intelligence algorithms to MRI brain scans, researchers have developed a way to automatically distinguish between patients with Alzheimer’s and two early forms of dementia that can be precursors to the memory-robbing disease.
The researchers, from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, suggest the approach could eventually allow automated screening and assisted diagnosis of various forms of dementia, particularly in centers that lack experienced neuroradiologists.
Additionally, the results, published online July 6 in the journal Radiology, show that the new system was able to classify the form of dementia that patients were suffering from, using previously unseen scans, with up to 90 percent accuracy.
So, while there is no cure for Alzheimer’s (yet), deploying Machine Learning and the models it creates will help more and more medical facilities identify persons at risk early enough to introduce treatments as they become available before actual symptoms take hold. This also makes possible non-invasive testing utilizing application of the model data.
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