Computer tool may predict dementia in cognitively functional patients

Computers capable of machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, may be able to accurately predict the risk of dementia for cognitively healthy older patients, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

To create the tool, researchers developed a dementia risk index driven by data collected from brain health registries and other multinational data discovery and sharing platforms. Computers capable of machine learning — making and improving predictions based on the computational analysis of large datasets — were then enabled to assess patient scenarios for dementia risk.

To test the efficacy of the method, researchers collected data from a prior study launched in the 1970s on patients ages 65 to 79. The previous study included detailed health-related assessments, including memory and other cognitive tests. Based upon this data, computers equipped with the dementia risk index were able to accurately predict the onset of dementia up to 10 years before patients were diagnosed with the condition.

"The results of our study are very promising, as it is the first time this machine learning approach was used for estimating dementia risk in a cognitively normal general population," said the study's lead researcher Alina Solomon, MD, PhD, from the University of Eastern Finland. "However, we still need to validate this risk index in other populations outside Finland. We also need to investigate if it works in people older than 80 years, and if it can monitor changes in dementia risk over time, for example as a response to lifestyle interventions. These are some of the next steps we are planning now."

More articles on quality: 
Gordon Hospital's clothing drive provides back-up garments to patients in need 
New Hampshire hospitals report 64 'never events' in 2015 
Nurses and hospital medication management — improving patient care and outcomes

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars