New advancements in technology may allow doctors to be able to figure out who will get dementia using AI. This could give patients insight years in advance.
A study found that artificial intelligence and big data could be used to predict dementia up to two years in advance. They used PET scans of people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Serge Gauthier, the co-lead author, said:
“By using this tool, clinical trials could focus only on individuals with a higher likelihood of progressing to dementia within the time frame of the study. This will greatly reduce the cost and the time necessary to conduct these studies.”
This study hinges on the notion that a protein called amyloid is a marker for dementia. Sulantha Mathotaarachchi, a computer scientist, used hundreds of amyloid PET scans to train the team’s algorithm to identify the patients who could develop dementia.
The study resulted in an 84 percent rate of accuracy. There is ongoing research to look for other biological markers to determine who will develop dementia.
Dr. Rosa-Neto, who is also director of the McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging, said:
“This is an example how big data and open science brings tangible benefits to patient care.”
The software will be made available online for scientists to study it, but doctors won’t be able to use it in practice until it is certified by health authorities.
Featured image via Twitter.