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Scientists develop an AI that can diagnose dementia from a brain scan

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Artificial intelligence has been employed in the fight against dementia by scientists who say it can diagnose the condition from a single scan of the brain. Currently in pre-clinical trials, the system has been able to diagnose dementia years before the first symptoms develop, even with no signs of damage on the scan. It currently takes multiple scans and tests to diagnose dementia, and by the time they are complete it may be too late to enact some of the remedies that can offset the condition, researchers from the Alan Turing Institute in Cambridge explained. The new system compares brain scans of those worried they might have dementia with scans from thousands of dementia patients to identify patterns. Being able to diagnose the condition early, even before any signs are visible on scans, will allow for lifestyle and medical interventions to delay the onset, according to the team.


Artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose dementia

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It's been used to detect eye diseases, make medical diagnoses, and spot early signs of oesophageal cancer. Now it has been claimed artificial intelligence may be able to diagnose dementia from just one brain scan, with researchers starting a trial to test the approach. The team behind the AI tool say the hope is that it will lead to earlier diagnoses, which could improve outcomes for patients, while it may also help to shed light on their prognoses. Dr Timothy Rittman, a senior clinical research associate and consultant neurologist at the University of Cambridge, who is leading the study, told the BBC the AI system is a "fantastic development". "These set of diseases are really devastating for people," he said. "So when I am delivering this information to a patient, anything I can do to be more confident about the diagnosis, to give them more information about the likely progression of the disease to help them plan their lives is a great thing to be able to do."


Artificial Intelligence Can Detect Dementia Years Before Symptoms Appear

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Artificial intelligence could spot the early signs of dementia from a simple brain scan long before major symptoms appear – and in some cases before any symptoms appear – say Cambridge researchers. Dementias are characterized by the build-up of different types of protein in the brain, which damages brain tissue and leads to cognitive decline. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, these proteins include beta-amyloid, which forms'plaques', clumping together between neurons and affecting their function, and tau, which accumulates inside neurons. Molecular and cellular changes to the brain usually begin many years before any symptoms occur. Diagnosing dementia can take many months or even years.


AI could detect dementia years before symptoms appear

#artificialintelligence

Dementias are characterized by the build-up of different types of protein in the brain, which damages brain tissue and leads to cognitive decline. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, these proteins include beta-amyloid, which forms'plaques," clumping together between neurons and affecting their function, and tau, which accumulates inside neurons. Molecular and cellular changes to the brain usually begin many years before any symptoms occur. Diagnosing dementia can take many months or even years. It typically requires two or three hospital visits and can involve a range of CT, PET and MRI scans as well as invasive lumber punctures. A team led by Professor Zoe Kourtzi at the University of Cambridge and The Alan Turing Institute has developed machine learning tools that can detect dementia in patients at a very early stage. Using brain scans from patients who went on to develop Alzheimer's, their machine learning algorithm learnt to spot structural changes in the brain. When combined with the results from standard memory tests, the algorithm was able to provide a prognostic score--that is, the likelihood of the individual having Alzheimer's disease. For those patients presenting with mild cognitive impairment--signs of memory loss or problems with language or visual/spatial perception--the algorithm was higher than 80% accurate in predicting those individuals who went on to develop Alzheimer's disease. It was also able to predict how fast their cognition will decline over time. Professor Kourtzi, from Cambridge's Department of Psychology, said: "We have trained machine learning algorithms to spot very early signs of dementia just by looking for patterns of gray matter loss--essentially, wearing away--in the brain.


Scientists say new AI tool could diagnose dementia from one brain scan

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Scientists at Cambridge University have developed an AI system that they believe could diagnose dementia from a single brain scan. Pre-clinical testing suggests the tech can spot signs of dementia years before symptoms develop. The system is now being evaluated in clinical trials. Attend the tech festival of the year and get your super early bird ticket now! This process can take between four to 12 weeks, according to the Alzheimer's Society.