Friday November 22, 2019

AI Technique to Improve Brain Scans to Predict Alzheimer’s Early

"If we diagnose Alzheimer's disease when all the symptoms have manifested, the brain volume loss is so significant that it's too late to intervene," Sohn said

0
//
sleep
Poor sleep can predict Alzheimer's Risk in elderly. Pixabay

Artificial intelligence (AI) can help improve the ability of brain imaging techniques to predict Alzheimer’s disease early, according to a study.

Researchers from the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) trained a deep learning algorithm on a special imaging technology known as 18-F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET).

They included more than 2,100 FDG-PET brain images from 1,002 patients and on an independent set of 40 imaging exams from 40 patients.

The results showed that the algorithm was able to teach itself metabolic patterns that corresponded to Alzheimer’s disease.

It also achieved 100 per cent sensitivity at detecting the disease an average of more than six years prior to the final diagnosis.

“We were very pleased with the algorithm’s performance. It was able to predict every single case that advanced to Alzheimer’s disease,” said Jae Ho Sohn, from UCSF’s Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Department.

“If FDG-PET with AI can predict Alzheimer’s disease this early, beta-amyloid plaque and tau protein PET imaging can possibly add another dimension of important predictive power,” he added, in the paper detailed in the journal Radiology.

While early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is extremely important for the treatment, it has proven to be challenging.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
The results showed that the algorithm was able to teach itself metabolic patterns that corresponded to Alzheimer’s disease, Pixabay

Although the cause behind the progressive brain disorder remains unconfimed yet, various research has linked the disease process to changes in metabolism, as shown by glucose uptake in certain regions of the brain.

These changes can be difficult to recognise.

“If we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease when all the symptoms have manifested, the brain volume loss is so significant that it’s too late to intervene,” Sohn said.

Also Read- Eat Vegetarian Diet to Ward Away Heart Disease

“If we can detect it earlier, that’s an opportunity for investigators to potentially find better ways to slow down or even halt the disease process,” he noted.

Sohn explained that the algorithm could be a useful tool to complement the work of radiologists — especially in conjunction with other biochemical and imaging tests — in providing an opportunity for early therapeutic intervention. (IANS)

Next Story

Exposure to Air Pollution May Trigger Alzheimer’s in Aged Women, Reveals Research

"Our hope is that by better understanding the underlying brain changes caused by air pollution, researchers will be able to develop interventions to help people with or at risk for cognitive decline," Petkus added

0
Alzheimer's
A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr

Women in their 70s and 80s who were exposed to higher levels of air pollution experienced greater declines in memory and more Alzheimer’s-like brain atrophy than their counterparts who breathed cleaner air, new research has revealed.

“This is the first study to really show, in a statistical model, that air pollution was associated with changes in people’s brains and that those changes were then connected with declines in-memory performance,” said study researcher Andrew Petkus, the Assistant Professor University of South California in the US.

Previous research has suggested that fine particle pollution exposure increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

What scientists haven’t known is whether PM2.5 alters brain structure and accelerates memory decline.

For the study, published in the journal Brain, researchers used data from 998 women, aged 73 to 87, who had up to two brain scans five years apart as part of the landmark Women’s Health Initiative launched in 1993 by the US National Institutes of Health and enrolled more than 160,000 women to address questions about heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

Those brain scans were scored on the basis of their similarity to Alzheimer’s disease patterns by a machine learning tool that had been “trained” via brain scans of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also gathered information about where the 998 women lived, as well as environmental data from those locations to estimate their exposure to fine particle pollution.

When all that information was combined, researchers could see the association between higher pollution exposure, brain changes and memory problems — even after adjusting to taking into account differences in income, education, race, geographic region, cigarette smoking, and other factors.

Also Read: Facebook, Google Performing an Assault on the Right to Privacy

“This study provides another piece of the Alzheimer’s disease puzzle by identifying some of the brain changes linking air pollution and memory decline. Each research study gets us one step closer to solving the Alzheimer’s disease epidemic,” Petkus said.

“Our hope is that by better understanding the underlying brain changes caused by air pollution, researchers will be able to develop interventions to help people with or at risk for cognitive decline,” Petkus added. (IANS)