Artificial intelligence platform to detect neurodegenerative diseases

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The buildup of abnormal tau proteins in the brain in neurofibrillary tangles is a feature of Alzheimer's disease, but it also accumulates in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy and additional age-related conditions. Accurate diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases is challenging and requires a highly-trained specialist. Researchers at the Center for Computational and Systems Pathology at Mount Sinai developed and used the Precise Informatics Platform to apply powerful machine learning approaches to digitized microscopic slides prepared using tissue samples from patients with a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases. Applying deep learning, these images were used to create a convolutional neural network capable of identifying neurofibrillary tangles with a high degree of accuracy directly from digitized images. "Utilizing artificial intelligence has great potential to improve our ability to detect and quantify neurodegenerative diseases, representing a major advance over existing labor-intensive and poorly reproducible approaches," said lead investigator John Crary, MD, PhD, Prof. of Pathology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.