Scientists are testing an artificial-intelligence system thought to be capable of diagnosing dementia after a single brain scan.
It may also be able to predict whether the condition will remain stable for many years, slowly deteriorate or need immediate treatment. Currently, it can take several scans and tests to diagnose dementia.
The researchers involved say earlier diagnoses with their system could greatly improve patient
“If we intervene early, the treatments can kick in early and slow down the progression of the disease and at the same time avoid more damage,” Professor Zoe Kourtzi, of Cambridge University and a fellow of national centre for AI and data science The Alan Turing Institute, said. “And it’s likely that symptoms occur much later in life or may never occur.”
Prof Kourtzi’s system compares brain scans of those worried they might have dementia with those of thousands of dementia patients and their relevant medical records. The algorithm can identify patterns in the scans even expert neurologists cannot see and match them to patient outcomes in its database.