AI can detect dementia faster than experts

24 August 2022

The results of recent research have demonstrated that AI machine learning can identify dementia in patients quicker and just as efficiently as experts. Modern medicine has allowed life expectancy globally to increase over the last few decades. But with people surviving into old age, a higher rate of dementia and Alzheimer’s is being recorded along with this major rise. This might impede the ability to provide prompt treatment to individuals in need, especially considering a predicted physician shortage in the next decade.

Researchers at the University of Boston have designed a variety of computer models capable of absorbing large quantities of data that might be collected during a typical work-up of a patient with suspected dementia, including results of neuro-psychological and functional testing, medical history, physical examination, demographics, and MRI scans. This information was then fed to a neural network which was then trained to elicit disease-specific signatures from this vast set of inputs.

Using particular methods in machine learning, they were able to identify data that their model used in its decision-making processes where they applied the same methods to identify dementia-related changes in MRI scans and found that the locations marked as significant when experts identify dementia.

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