A diagnosis system that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) for the rapid screening of dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been developed by an interdisciplinary research team led by a professor at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST).
The electroencephalography (EEG)-based computer-aided diagnosis system, which integrates different technologies, including EEG signal processing, circuits and electronics, AI, cognitive neuroscience, and medical science, has demonstrated a high level of accuracy and usability in assisting AD and MCI diagnosis, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Wednesday.
As a result, the system is also expected to facilitate early intervention and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia.
Liu Yi-hung (???), a professor at NTUST who has led the research team since 2017, collaborated with Tsai Chia-fen (???), a doctor in the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and Wu Chien-te (???), a professor at the International Research Center for Neurointelligence, University of Tokyo.
They developed the nonlinearly multiple EEG feature decoding technique and identified the most MCI-sensitive brain areas by using machine learning methods. An automatic EEG classification algorithm was also embedded in the AI model, achieving a leading MCI detection accuracy of 90 percent, said Liu.
Liu said that the system only required a two-minute EEG signal for analysis and another 40 seconds to generate an analysis report, taking fewer than three minutes for evaluation.
The system provides several advantages including convenience, safety, efficiency, and high accuracy, according to MOST.
There are currently an estimated over 55 million people worldwide living with dementia, which is projected to rise to 139 million by 2050. Nearly 300,000 people in Taiwan suffer from this disease, accounting for 7.7 percent of the older population in 2020.
There is still no effective treatment for AD, which accounts for 60-80 percent of all dementia cases.
MCI is a state that is between cognitive decline due to normal aging and cognitive impairment caused by dementia due to AD. Individuals with MCI are at higher risk of developing AD in the later stages of their MCI.
MCI is usually underdiagnosed because the subtle decline of cognitive function is easily overlooked by individuals, which prevents them from seeking medical advice or even interventions, according to MOST.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel