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AI Arrives As The Newest And Most Powerful Weapon For Early Alzheimer's Disease Detection

18 September 2017, 6:47 am EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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Medical researchers have found artificial intelligence as an unlikely but very much welcome ally in the development of Alzheimer's disease detection techniques.

AI may have its dangerous applications as a weapon, but right now, it is the weapon that the medical field needs to help fight back against the dreaded Alzheimer's disease.

AI For Alzheimer's Disease Detection

Researchers have long been trying to find the best way for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease. While there is no cure yet for the disease, being able to detect it as early as possible allows its victims to take treatment to slow down its effects, giving them time before they lose their memory and cognitive functions.

While some researchers have focused on developing tests to look for traces of Alzheimer's disease and some currently trying to create detections devices, a team from the University of Bari in Italy has turned its attention to harnessing the power of artificial intelligence.

The researchers have created an algorithm that is capable of detecting tiny changes in brain structures caused by Alzheimer's disease as far back as 10 years before its victims starts suffering from the symptoms.

The team from the University of Bari trained their AI by feeding it 67 MRI scans, 38 of which were from patients suffering from the disease and 29 MRI scans of people that do not have it. The scans were further divided into smaller regions, further feeding the AI with more information.

Upon training the algorithm, it was put to the test by having it look at the MRI scans of 148 patients, 52 of which were healthy, 48 of which suffered from Alzheimer's disease, and another 48 of which were experiencing mild cognitive impairment and eventually developed Alzheimer's disease.

The AI correctly diagnosed Alzheimer's disease 86 percent of the time and was able to detect mild cognitive impairment 84 percent of time. The algorithm is far from perfect, but with added training from more MRI scans, it will likely develop into a valuable tool for early Alzheimer's disease detection. In fact, it can also even be used to help with the early diagnosis of other neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

Applications Of Artificial Intelligence

The applications of artificial intelligence are endless, as researchers and scientists have only started to understand the technology's potential. Current achievements of AI include beating the world's best DOTA 2 players, purchasing complete shopping lists, and even detecting the sexual orientation of a person.

However, with the wonders of AI also come its dangers. According to Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, AI will likely be the cause for World War 3, as the most powerful countries look to establish their dominance with AI superiority.

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