Tuesday January 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

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alzheimer's, cholesterol
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.

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“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)

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Microsoft Lays AI Sensors for Smart Farming, Cutting-edge Healthcare in India

"The role of AI will only get bigger for both agriculture and healthcare sectors in India. The seeds are now sown," Maheshwari added

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Microsoft
Logo of Microsoft outside it's office. Pixabay

China, the world’s biggest agricultural producer, is leading the race when it comes to empowering farmers with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven technologies.

The aim is clear: To help the community digitally record information to cut costs and increase yields — with just a smartphone in their hands as AI leveraged Cloud computing to make sense of the data for farmers.

India has now embarked on a journey to bring AI sensors into the fields.

For Anant Maheshwari, the company’s India President, Microsoft has begun empowering small-holder farmers in India to increase their income through higher crop yield and greater price control.

“We are working with farmers, state governments, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to create an ecosystem for AI into farming,” Maheshwari told IANS.

In some villages in Telangana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, farmers are receiving automated voice calls that tell them whether their cotton crops are at risk of a pest attack, based on weather conditions and crop stage.

“There are companies that serve equipments and capabilities for farmers. We are working with most of the stakeholders, like generic crop protection and seeds company United Phosphorus Ltd and engineering conglomerate Escorts, to create better AI-based models for farming in the country,” informed Maheshwari.

With United Phosphorus, Microsoft is working on providing front-end capabilities for farmers.

Escorts is working with Microsoft for its Cloud and AI technology enabling precision agriculture capabilities to help farmers make informed decisions and get more from their farms.

In collaboration with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Microsoft has developed an AI-Sowing App powered by Cortana Intelligence Suite including Machine Learning and Power BI.

The app sends sowing advisories to participating farmers on the optimal date to sow. The farmers don’t need to install any sensors in their fields or incur any capital expenditure. All they need is a feature phone capable of receiving text messages.

Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

After laying the initial infrastructure for smart agriculture, Microsoft has also taken further steps towards cutting-edge health care with the help from AI-based “Intelligent Cloud” and “Intelligent Edge”.

Nearly three million heart attacks happen in India every year and 30 million Indians suffer from coronary diseases.

In a novel effort to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the Indian population, Microsoft India and Apollo Hospitals have launched the first-ever AI-powered heart disease risk score API (application programme interface).

It provides the capability of applying ML and AI to cardio-vascular health records to develop an Indian-specific heart risk score.

With the new heart risk score for India, Apollo Hospitals’ AI model helps gauge a patient’s risk for heart disease and provides rich insights to doctors on treatment plans and early diagnosis.

“This shows how AI-driven models can make a big difference and help the doctors in a country where health care needs.

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The company has also applied AI to devices for early detection of diabetic retinopathy to prevent blindness.Microsoft India also announced a partnership with SRL Diagnostics to expand the “AI Network for Healthcare” to pathology to detect cancer.

Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Executive Director of Narayana Health, has performed over 15,000 heart operations. His hospital chain does one-sixth of heart surgeries in India.

“His hospital chain is working on Kaizala app, Power BI and Azure to run the operation smoothly.

“Dr Shetty aims to put all electronic health records on Kaizala for real-time data analysis. This gives a doctor full information about a patient and his past,” said Maheshwari.

In October, NITI Aayog entered into a partnership with Microsoft to deploy AI technologies in areas such as agriculture, healthcare, natural language computing and sustainable environment.

“The role of AI will only get bigger for both agriculture and healthcare sectors in India. The seeds are now sown,” Maheshwari added. (IANS)