Artificial Intelligence Can Prove to be a Boon for Patients with Alzheimer’s

The findings demonstrated the potential valid clinical utility of “MemTrax”, administered as part of the online test in screening for variations in cognitive brain health

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

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can prove to be essential for healthcare providers to detect and manage Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia, from which 44 million people suffer worldwide.

In the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the team introduced supervised Machine Learning (ML) as a modern approach and new value-added complementary tool in cognitive brain health assessment and related patient care and management.

With the increasingly favourable instrument “MemTrax” — an online memory test using image recognition — the clinical efficacy of this new approach as a memory function screening tool has been sufficiently demonstrated.

For the study, a team of researchers including from the Florida Atlantic University, SIVOTEC Analytics and Stanford University employed a novel application of supervised ML and predictive modeling to demonstrate and validate the cross-sectional utility of “MemTrax” as a clinical decision support screening tool for assessing cognitive impairment.

"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

The findings demonstrated the potential valid clinical utility of “MemTrax”, administered as part of the online test in screening for variations in cognitive brain health.

“Findings from our study provide an important step in advancing the approach for clinically managing a very complex condition like Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author Michael F. Bergeron, Senior Vice President, SIVOTEC Analytics.

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“By analysing a wide array of attributes across multiple domains of the human system and functional behaviours of brain health, informed and strategically directed advanced data mining, supervised Machine Learning, and robust analytics can be integral for healthcare providers to detect and anticipate further progression in this disease and myriad other aspects of cognitive impairment,” he explained. (IANS)

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80% Cases of COVID-19 in India Exhibit Nil or Mild Symptoms: Health Minister

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that nearly 80% of COVID cases in India are asymptomatic

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Harsh-Vardhan Symptoms
Health MinisterHarsh Vardhan said that almost 80% COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. Wikimedia Commons

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said almost 80 per cent of the COVID-19 cases in India are asymptomatic or at best with very mild symptoms, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

In an exclusive interview to IANS, the Health Minister said, “Even today, in almost 80 per cent of the cases of COVID-19, which are being reported in India, the patients tend to exhibit either nil or mild symptoms. These patients are mostly contacts of confirmed cases. Interestingly, had it not been for our contact tracing efforts, and if left to their own in isolation, these patients may not have even remembered or reported their infection.”

Harsh Vardhan, who has recently been elected the chief of WHO’s Executive Board, was answering a query on whether asymptomatic patients who are potential virus carriers and who can take the virus deeper into rural India are causing worry to the government.

He said, “I am aware about WHO’s mention of some laboratory-confirmed cases that are truly asymptomatic. It is equally true, that as on date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission.”

However, he added that recently, more symptoms like headache, muscle pain, pink eye, loss of smell, or loss of taste, intense chills, rigors and sore throat have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States. “It will require more studies before these symptoms are finally included in our list in India,” he quipped.

symptoms
Recently, more symptoms like headache have been included in the list of COVID-19 symptoms. Pixabay

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He added that the new symptoms were very subjective and vague which might go unnoticed, might not be remembered by the patient and, thus, might even go unreported. “Moreover, if for a moment we talk of testing such asymptotic patients, identification of all these asymptomatic cases will require repeated testing of 1.3 billion population which is a resource expensive exercise for any country and is neither possible nor recommended,” the Health Minister said.

He emphasized on priority-based and targeted testing and said that it will be helpful in detecting more cases of COVID-19 and curbing the disease. “With our efforts at sustained and quality assured scaling up of the testing facilities, I am sure, we shall be better placed for maximum case detection,” he concluded. (IANS)

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COVID-19 Makes it Difficult to Manage Cancer Care: Oncologist

Dr Abhishek Shankar said that coronavirus has made it difficult to manage the cancer care delivery system

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Coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult to manage cancer care. Pixabay

By Dr. Abhishek Shankar

A recent report– ‘Cancer Care Delivery Challenges Amidst Coronavirus Disease – 19 (COVID-19) Outbreak’ published in the journal of Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention has pointed out that cancer patients are more susceptible to coronavirus than individuals without cancer as they are in an immunosuppressive state because of the malignancy and anticancer treatment. Oncologists should be more attentive to detect coronavirus infection early, as any type of advanced cancer is at much higher risk for unfavorable outcomes.

Author, Dr Abhishek Shankar, assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology at Lady Hardinge Medical College said that coronavirus has made it difficult to manage the cancer care delivery system.

“As we are having a lockdown in the whole country, patients can’t travel from one place to another. About 95 percent of the cancer care services are restricted to the urban areas but we also know that 70 percent of the people live in rural areas. So, there is a lot of disparity in cancer care. For cancer patients, stress is more disturbing for the patient rather than cancer itself,” Dr Shankar told ANI.

Cancer care
Dr. Shankar added that in this situation, it is very difficult to manage these people as they are unable to come to the hospital as we are running only emergency services. Pixabay

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He added that in this situation, it is very difficult to manage these people as they are unable to come to the hospital as we are running only emergency services.

Talking about the report, Dr Shankar said, “We have published the paper on cancer care delivery, although guidance is that you shouldn’t delay and you should continue with the treatment. But there are many challenges that are coming right now. We have also advised cancer patients about the precautions they should take. Also, patients need to verify social media messages coming in from a credible source like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and WHO.”Furthermore, he suggests that persons suffering from cancer should get treated from nearby hospitals and try avoiding the delay.

The cancer specialist remarked that it is a dilemma for healthcare professionals as well as patients because there is an issue regarding what to follow and what not to. “To date, there is no scientific guideline regarding the management of cancer patients in the backdrop of coronavirus outbreak,” Dr Shankar informed.

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Lungs of Deceased COVID-19 Patients Show Distinctive Features

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting

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chemistry lungs
a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19. Pixabay

To help create the vaccine for the novel coronavirus infection, a team of researchers has described the clinical features of the lungs of deceased Covid-19 patients according to Coronavirus Vaccine News.

According to the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Steven J Mentzer, a thoracic surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a team of international researchers examined seven lungs obtained during autopsy from patients who died of Covid-19.

They compared this group to seven autopsied lungs obtained from patients who died of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to influenza A (H1N1) infection as well as to 10 age-matched uninfected control lungs.

Both Covid-19 and influenza are the same category of virus and both infect the respiratory tract.

While the lungs shared some common features, there were distinctive features related to blood vessels seen in the lungs of patients who had died of Covid-19.

The research team observed that COVID-19 damaged the endothelial cells (vascular lining cells), causing severe endothelial injury.

diagnosis lungs
Covid-19 infects the respiratory tract. Pixabay

Patients with COVID-19 showed widespread blood clotting as well as new vessel growth — the latter likely a result of the body’s response to the virus.

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he team saw signs of a distinctive pattern of pulmonary vascular disease progression in some cases of COVID-19 compared to that of equally severe influenza virus infection.

Some of the key points from the study are: the damage to vascular cells helps explain the serious blot clotting observed in patients and a unique response, intussusceptive angiogenesis (IA), is the way the body compensates for the thrombosis and blood vessel damage.

This study shows the need for more research on angiogenesis and the vascular effects of Covid-19. (IANS)