Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From heterogeneous patient measurements towards earlier diagnosis in Alzheimer's disease

15.12.2011
New potential avenues for early disease detection

European PredictAD project, lead by Principal Scientist Jyrki Lötjönen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has developed a decision support tool for objective diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease.

The tool compares measurements of a patient to measurements of other persons available in large databases and provides a simple index about the severity of the disease. The project has shown that the tool improves the accuracy of diagnosis and clinicians' confidence about their decision, making earlier diagnosis possible.

Dementia has been recently identified as a health priority both in Europe and in the USA. Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia, alone accounts for costs equivalent to about 1% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the whole world and the number of persons affected will double in the next 20 years. Early diagnosis plays a key role in solving the problem because treatments of this irreversible disease should be started at an early phase to be efficient.

The current guidelines for the diagnostics of Alzheimer's disease emphasize the role of various biomarkers. These biomarkers include measures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), biomarkers from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and genetic biomarkers in addition to evidenced memory impairment. No single patient measure provides enough information for diagnostics. Currently, clinicians make the final diagnosis by combining heterogeneous measurements with information from interviews of the patient and relatives. This process involves subjective reasoning and requires strong expertise from the clinicians.

Modern hospitals have huge data reserves containing information that nobody has extracted. For example, the hippocampus is a central structure for memory and affected in Alzheimer's disease and brain MRI image databases contain information about the normal variability of the hippocampus in healthy and disased persons. This information can be utilised in diagnostics by systematic mathematical modelling.

PredictAD has designed a totally novel approach for measuring objectively the state of the patient. This decision support system, developed in close collaboration with clinicians, compares patient measurements with measurements of other persons in large databases and provides at the end an index and graphical representation reflecting the state of the patient. The index is a barometer of the disease making grounds for decisions more solid and objective. The graphical representation provides a clinician in glance information about the status of her/his patient compared with hundreds of other persons, some having the disease and some being healthy.

"The PredictAD tool provides a new option to support decision making by providing objective information about the patient", says Prof. Hilkka Soininen from the University of Eastern Finland, leading the clinical validation of the project.

Prof. Gunhild Waldemar from Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet emphasizes the importance of the Alzheimer's disease research: "Successful, early diagnostics combined with the novel drugs under development and early psychosocial care may delay the institutionalization of patients, reducing suffering and the costs to the society. It has been calculated that delaying the onset of the disease by five years would halve all costs of Alzheimer's disease and delaying onset and progression by only one year would reduce the number of Alzheimer's cases by about 10%."

This study was supported by the project "From patient data to personalized healthcare in Alzheimer's disease" (PredictAD) which was supported by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

Reference: J. Mattila, J. Koikkalainen, A. Virkki, A. Hviid-Simonsen, M. van Gils, G. Waldemar, H. Soininen, J. Lötjönen, The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Disease State Fingerprint for Evaluating the State of Alzheimer's Disease in Patients. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 27: 163-176, 2011.

For further information, please contact:
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Jyrki Lötjönen, Principal Scientist
tel. +358 20 722 3378
jyrki.lotjonen@vtt.fi
University of Eastern Finland
Hilkka Soininen, professor
tel. +358 40 5735749
Copenhagen University Hospital
Gunhild Waldemar, professor
tel. +45 26302580
Further information on VTT
Olli Ernvall, Senior Vice President, Communications
Tel. +358 20 722 6747
olli.ernvall@vtt.fi

Jyrki Lötjönen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Radioisotope couple for tumor diagnosis and therapy
14.05.2019 | Kanazawa University

nachricht Therapy Optimisation by Analysing the Genome
13.05.2019 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

Im Focus: A step towards probabilistic computing

Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future

When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...

Im Focus: Recording embryonic development

Scientists develop a molecular recording tool that enables in vivo lineage tracing of embryonic cells

The beginning of new life starts with a fascinating process: A single cell gives rise to progenitor cells that eventually differentiate into the three germ...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Discovering unusual structures from exception using big data and machine learning techniques

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

ALMA discovers aluminum around young star

17.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

A new iron-based superconductor stabilized by inter-block charger transfer

17.05.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>