Thu, August 12, 2021


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New AI scan could diagnose dementia in a day

Artificial intelligence may be able to diagnose dementia from just one brain scan, new research has shown.

AI has previously been used to make medical diagnoses and detect cancer in patients. Researchers hope to start the trial which could dramatically increase the diagnosis time for dementia patients.

The technology works by using AI to harness algorithms to detect patterns in brain scans. These patterns can then help doctors to give a diagnosis to patients. An early diagnosis can dramatically improve the prognosis if treatment can be delivered earlier to help to slow the onset of disease.  

The research was conducted by Professor Zoe Kourtzi, of Cambridge University and a fellow of the national centre for AI and data science The Alan Turing Institute. She explained: “If we intervene early, the treatments can kick in early and slow down the progression of the disease and at the same time avoid more damage.”

Dr Timothy Rittman, a senior clinical research associate and consultant neurologist at the University of Cambridge, said: “These set of diseases are really devastating for people. So when I am delivering this information to a patient, anything I can do to be more confident about the diagnosis, to give them more information about the likely progression of the disease to help them plan their lives is a great thing to be able to do.”

Dr Laura Phipps at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “To diagnose dementia today, doctors need to rely on the interpretation of brain scans and cognitive tests, often over a period of time. Machine learning models such as those being developed by Prof Kourtzi could give doctors greater confidence in interpreting scans, leading to a more accurate diagnosis for patients.”

Read more about this here.