(Natural News) Researchers from Italy have developed a machine-learning algorithm that can detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease almost 10 years before human doctors can.
According to the DailyMail.co.uk, the team from the University of Bari Aldo Moro trained their artificial intelligence (AI) by using 67 MRI scans: 29 came from a healthy control group, while 38 were from patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Each scan was divided into smaller regions, which were then analyzed by the AI for neuronal activity. Through this, they were able to teach the AI to tell the difference between healthy brains and those who were at risk of the disease. Moreover, they found that the efficacy of the algorithm peaked at the analyses of regions in the 2,250 to 3,200 cubic mm range — which, coincidentally, are the sizes of the hippocampus and amygdala, the structures of the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers then tested the AI on the brain scans of 148 subjects, 52 of whom were healthy, 48 who had Alzheimer’s disease, and 48 with mild cognitive impairments. The algorithm successfully differentiated the healthy brains from those with Alzheimer’s disease with 86 percent accuracy; moreover, it was able to single out the brains with mild cognitive impairments 84 percent of the time.
Study co-author Marianna La Rocca said of current detection procedures: “Nowadays, cerebrospinal fluid analyses and brain imaging using radioactive tracers can tell us to what extent the brain is covered with plaques and tangles, and are able to predict relatively accurately who is at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s 10 years later. However, these…Read More