Alzheimer’s Algorithm Predicts Disease Years Before Symptoms Begin

By | August 28th, 2017

A study shows that an AI algorithm could help predict people's likelihood of developing Alzheimer's from mild cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, but getting a diagnosis as quickly as possible can allow patients to start symptom-delaying drugs. The problem with getting that diagnosis, though, is that the early stages of Alzheimer’s can look a lot like mild cognitive impairment, which may or may not progress into Alzheimer’s.

Using AI to diagnose Alzheimer’s:
A Virtual Microscope for Early-Alzheimer’s
Earns FDA ‘Breakthrough’ Designation

A new study from McGill University may make it easier to distinguish what will develop into full-blown Alzheimer’s. The researchers used data and artificial intelligence to predict whether someone with mild cognitive impairment would develop Alzheimer’s, and were able to do so two years before the onset of dementia symptoms with 84 percent accuracy.

The Alzheimer’s algorithm takes data like memory test results, glucose metabolism in the brain, PET scans, cerebrospinal fluid and MRIs into account to predict whether patients with mild cognitive impairment will progress to Alzheimer’s.

AI Technology: UK Rolls Out
New 5-Minute Alzheimer’s Test

Right now it’s estimated about 15 to 20 percent of adults over 65 have mild cognitive impairment, and they are at greater risk of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. There’s no way to predict who will and will not develop Alzheimer’s, however. Though it will need to undergo more clinical trial testing, researchers hope that this Alzheimer’s algorithm will offer patients more time to plan for their future and start disease-delaying drugs.

Read the full write-up here.

If you find our articles and interviews helpful, please consider becoming a supporting member of our community. Frustrated by the lack of an editorially independent source of information on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, we decided to create Being Patient. We are a team of dedicated journalists covering the latest research on Alzheimer’s, bringing you access to the experts and elevating the patient perspective on what it’s like to live with dementia.

Please help support our mission.

Leave a Reply

We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.