Artificial Intelligence: AI Algorithm Diagnoses Alzheimer’s Disease Better Than Experts

Artificial intelligence removes the subjectivity from AD diagnosis.

Alzheimer’s Disease is extremely difficult to diagnose.  That’s because symptoms vary from patient to patient and opinions differ from doctor to doctor. Diagnosis typically involves the analysis of data such as the patient’s medical and family history, MRI images of the brain, and cognitive abilities. The inherent subjectivity in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease leads to errors. These result in fatalities in the range of an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 annually. However, an AI algorithm can now diagnosis Alzheimer’s Disease much more efficiently. (FreeThink)

Making AI a part of the Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis

A Boston University team marshaled the use of artificial intelligence in the diagnosis of AD along with brain scans and patient data.

They used data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative to train an AI algorithm. This included MRI scans, results from tests for cognitive impairment, and other patient information.

The AI algorithm generates an intuitive visualization of Alzheimer’s risk, increasing the chances of an accurate diagnosis.

“Our researchers used raw MRI scans of the brain, along with demographics and clinical information from people with Alzheimer’s disease and also from people with normal cognition from four different national cohorts,” says Vijaya Kolachalama, a Boston University School of Medicine assistant professor. “We also obtained postmortem data on a small group of people who were evaluated for the presence of an Alzheimer’s disease-related pathology. Interestingly, we found that our model predictions [of Alzheimer’s risk] correlated with neuropathology scores on these cases.”

Note that post-mortem findings are highly accurate in terms of confirming the disease. This provided biological confirmation of the success of the AI model.

In a head to head comparison with an international team of expert neurologists the AI model performed slightly better.

According to Kolachalama, using computers and AI to accurately detect Alzheimer’s Disease can save lives, reduce costs, and provide timely care.

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