Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder affecting millions of people across the globe. Laboratory research and clinical studies have helped to reveal various information about the disease, but the exact causal process is not known yet.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. India alone has an estimated 4.1 million people suffering from dementia.
Indian scientists at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), and Neuroimaging and Neurospectroscopy Laboratory (NINS) are now exploring the possibility of using artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose and predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, at an early stage.
The artificial intelligence will work into the system by having to study different sets of data to predict a possible outcome.
Artificial intelligence is a lot like our intelligence. As you are already aware, we have to gather information to learn. Artificial intelligence does the same by going through a lot of information in a short time, to learn, analyse and predict the next information based on the previous one.
In the case of Alzheimer’s, we do not know what causes it, but what we do have is information and a lot of it. While we can sift through pages and pages of research on neurochemicals and study the brain scans of millions of patients to see if there are any anomalies and cross verify the information with other patient studies—this is a lot of work for humans who keep forgetting where they put their keys.
This is where AI shows its strength.
“We will use the data information from a large data set from various diagnosis procedures to create an artificial intelligent system, which would help with the diagnosis of a new unknown case of Alzheimer’s disease using machine learning approaches,” said Dr Pravat K Mandal from the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) speaking to LiveMint.
An integrated framework called “GAURI” is being developed by Dr Mandal and his colleague, Prof Deepika Shukla. The AI will use statistical and predictive modelling to indicate chemical changes in the brain. This prediction could help in predicting the disease well in advance.
Edward Teller, the infamous Hungarian-American theoretical physicist, famously said, “The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” Well, here’s hoping that AI technology becomes the science for tomorrow.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)