Dementia signs and symptoms can be difficult to spot because the disease can affect people differently. But scientists have created an AI which they claim can spot Alzheimer’s before symptoms appear, Express reports.
Dementia symptoms depend on the part of the brain that has been damaged.
But if signs do appear, they can include memory loss, difficulty concentrating and being confused about time and place.
Now Canadian scientists have created an AI which they say can successful spot Alzheimer’s disease - a common type of dementia - five years before symptoms appear.
Dementia is often diagnosed once the condition is at an advanced stage, but the researchers hope the new technology will provide an early warning system.
More than 800 people took part in research carried out by the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Heath, and published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.
The team of researchers was led by Mallar Chakravarty, a computational neuroscientist at McGill University’s Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal.
Data for the AI was collected from blood tests taken from the participants, as well as MRI scans.
“At the moment, there are limited ways to treat Alzheimer’s and the best evidence we have is for prevention,” said Chakravarty.
“Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a ‘doctor’s assistant’ that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment.
“For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s or even prevent it altogether.”
An accurate early, or timely, diagnosis of dementia can have many benefits, according to the NHS.
It says these include:
- An explanation for symptoms that may have been worrying you or your family.
- Access to treatments that can improve symptoms and slow down the progress of the disease
- Access to advice and support
-Time to prepare for the future and plan ahead.