By staff writers

October 8, 2018 -- Canadian researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that takes data from MRI scans, genetics, and other sources to help determine if a person's cognitive decline will progress to Alzheimer's disease within five years.

Data to develop the algorithm came from more than 800 participants in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. The study population ranged from healthy seniors to people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease, according to a paper published online September 14 in PLOS Computational Biology.

The researchers are currently testing the AI predictions using new data to refine the process and validate the results. The ultimate goal is to use the algorithm to identify older people who have the greatest risk for cognitive decline and possibly Alzheimer's.

"Our AI methodology could have significant implications as a 'doctor's assistant' that would help stream people onto the right pathway for treatment," said study co-author and co-developer Dr. Mallar Chakravarty in a statement from McGill University. "For example, one could even initiate lifestyle changes that may delay the beginning stages of Alzheimer's or even prevent it altogether."

Copyright © 2018

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