Artificial intelligence (AI) could diagnose a suspected dementia patient the day they are assessed. The disease currently has no set test, with medics generally relying on cognitive assessments and brain scans. With it sometimes taking years to reach a diagnosis, scientists from the University of Cambridge are developing an AI system that could spot signs of the disease after a single brain scan. The system is "trained" to compare a suspected patient's brain scan against thousands of confirmed cases, with the algorithm potentially identifying signs of the disease that a neurologist could not spot. Although the technology is still in a trial stage, it could diagnose dementia years before symptoms emerge.
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.
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."
As supercomputers take on the mighty challenge of accelerating research in the complexities of life sciences, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not far behind. Researchers are testing a system based on AI to detect neurological disorders like dementia in just one brain scan. As researchers begin the trial of the system, currently it takes several scans and tests to diagnose dementia. An earlier diagnosis of the disorder could be life-saving and enhance treatment strategies. The team of researchers from the University of Cambridge are hopeful that the AI system will be tested in a "real-world" clinical setting on about 500 patients, in its first year of trial.
AI can spot patterns in brain scans that even the most experienced neurologists can't see Scientists are testing an artificial intelligence system they believe could lead to a diagnosis of dementia following a brain scan. It can also predict whether the condition will remain stable for many years, worsen gradually, or whether the patient will require immediate treatment. Currently, a number of tests and CT scans are needed to diagnose dementia. Researchers involved in the study say that early diagnosis with the system they have developed can significantly improve patients' prognosis. "If we intervene earlier, treatments can act earlier and delay the progression of the disease, and at the same time, if we intervene earlier, can prevent further damage." of the Alan Turing Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.