New Delhi: Indian scientists are using artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a smart diagnostics system to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s disease early.

Professor Pravat Mandal and his group at the National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), and Neuroimaging and Neurospectroscopy Laboratory (NINS) are together working to develop a model to map metabolic patterns in different brain regions in healthy and pathological conditions. Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic degenerative brain disorder.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible progressive brain degenerative disorder. It manifests as cognitive deterioration and associated behavioral disturbances, leading to impairment of activities of daily living. Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease helps individuals achieve better quality care by identifying cognitive impairment early.

“Laboratory research and longitudinal clinical studies have helped to reveal much information about the disease but the exact causal process is not known yet. Such AI framework by putting imaging and neuro-chemical information altogether will help immensely in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Mandal said.

The scientists are devising a complete spectrum that includes anatomical atrophy (degeneration of cells), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and neuropsychological measures to get sensitive specific characteristics of the disease.

“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 Mandal.

“Such an integrated multi-modal predictive diagnostic system for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis would aid the clinician in early differential diagnostics to deliver the most appropriate treatment,” he said.

Dr Mandal along with Deepika Shukla, also from NBRC , is developing an integrated framework called “GAURI” with statistical and predictive diagnostic capability that could indicate brain chemical changes such as significant depletion of glutathione in the hippocampus (a small organ located within the brain). The system provides a complete view of brain atrophy, metabolic change, and behavioral change, socio-demographic for the combined feature analysis. The research was also published in the latest issue of

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

“People from different research fields like physical science, engineering and mathematics as well as molecular biology need to come together to synergize the work. There is an urgent need for inter-disciplinary research involvement bringing technological advancements to understand the disease through knowledge merging in medical imaging field,” said Dr Mandal. Prof. Manjari Tripathi from Department of Neurology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi also supported the research.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases. According to the ‘Dementia India’ report published by the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India, the country has an estimated 4.1 million people suffering from dementia. This is expected to double by 2035.