ChatGPT helps diagnose rare diabetes case

A 24-year-old man used ChatGPT to help him get a rare diabetes diagnosis, NBC affiliate KXAN reported March 20.

In 2020, Cooper Myers was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Although he had a family history of of the disease, he said his symptoms did not line up.

"When I was first diagnosed, I never had any antibodies. And type one diabetes is an autoimmune disease. So that was suspicious," Mr. Myers said. He also noticed irregularities with his blood sugar levels despite being fitted with an insulin pump.

Mr. Myers took to ChatGPT and asked, "If my father is a skinny type 2, my grandfather is a skinny type 2 and I am a skinny type 1 with no antibodies, then could we have a different kind of diabetes?"

Its answer: Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young. This rare, genetic form of diabetes causes the pancreas not to realize insulin it creates. It requires only a pill to treat.

Mr. Myers took the results to his physician and was diagnosed with MODY. 

Risto Miikkulainen, PhD, a professor and AI expert at Austin-based University of Texas, said this case illustrates some of the potential of AI but noted it is unusual for AI to find rare diseases because it usually gives the most common answers. 

"It'd be difficult to get it to identify something that's unusual and exceptional, something that the doctors might overlook," Dr. Miikkulainen said.

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