Technology can diagnose Alzheimer’s with just one test – Sade

(Photo: AFP)

Researchers in the UK are working on a tool based on machine learning technology that could help make the diagnosis easier. Alzheimer’s. They adopted an algorithm developed to be used in the classification of cancerous tumors and applied it to the brain. Technique tests show that, in 98% of cases, only the machine learning system can accurately determine if a person has a neurodegenerative disease.

Doctors currently use a number of tests to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, including memory and cognitive tests and brain scans. The new approach only requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain performed on a standard 1.5 Tesla machine, which is commonly found in most hospitals.

To do this, the Imperial College London team divided the brain into 115 regions and explored 660 different features such as size, shape and structure to estimate each region. He then trained the algorithm to identify where changes in these resources could accurately predict the existence of the disease.

The technique has been tested on brain scans of more than 400 patients with early and late Alzheimer’s disease, as well as brain imaging of people without the disease and patients with other neurological conditions, including frontemporal dementia and Parkinson’s. Disease The hit rate was 98%.

Furthermore, the MRI-based machine learning system was able to differentiate between early and advanced Alzheimer’s disease with 79% accuracy. “Currently, no other simple and widely available method can predict Alzheimer’s disease with this level of accuracy, therefore, our research is an important step,” said Eric Abugi, Department of Surgery at Imperial, in a statement. And emphasize cancer researchers. And published in Study Leader, Nature Portfolio Journal, Communication Medicine.

New areas

According to scientists, the new system detected changes in parts of the brain that were not previously associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including the cerebellum (the part that coordinates and regulates physical activity) and the ventral dysfunction (senses, vision and hearing). Attached to). It is expected that these areas will become areas of neurodegeneration research.

Aboagye also bets on the medical use of the approach. “Waiting for a diagnosis can be a terrifying experience for patients and their families,” he says. If you can, it will help a lot. ” “Our new approach could also identify early-stage patients for clinical trials of new drug treatments or lifestyle changes, which is currently very difficult to do,” he says.

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