Researchers Develop A.I. That Can Detect Alzheimer’s a Decade Before Visible Symptoms

The brain scans detected lingering alterations in the white matter

A research team at the University of Bari has created an artificial intelligence that can spot even the faintest signs of Alzheimer’s Disease ten years sooner than any human.

The AI is capable of spotting “tiny structural changes” in the neurology of a person developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Its vision is so acute that it can identify the signs almost ten years before they would have been visible through any other known method of detection.

To teach their AI, University of Bari researchers fed it detailed MRI scans from 38 patients suffering from various stages of Alzheimer’s and 29 scans from healthy brains. The team then offered the AI 148 brain scans, asking it to discern which of them had the disease. Despite only having information from 67 subjects, the AI achieved an 86% success rate — and was successful much, much earlier.

Alzheimer’s is a cruel neurological disease, which counts all of an individual’s loved ones among its victims. But this heartbreak can be mitigated by treatments that can drastically slow its development. If those treatments could be applied before any symptoms manifest themselves in the first place, we could someday see its practical end.

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