Genetic factors play a role in Alzheimer’s disease!

The development of MCI is one of the 1st indicators of incipient Alzheimer’s disease. As the condition advances subtle, hard-to-detect changes in the brain accompany MCI. A newly developed deep-learning computer algorithm is presented by researchers at the Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania in their new study that can accurately detect and differentiate the stages of MCI from fMRI scans.

With more than 99% accuracy the algorithm can identify MCI and its stages the researcher said. MCI is a transitional state between normal age-related cognitive decline and dementia. It does not mean that it will progress to Alzheimer’s disease, but it often does. The early detection of the disease will help patients to benefit from the treatment.

According to study chief researchers Dr.Rytis Maskeliunas, “Medical professionals all over the world attempt to raise awareness of an early Alzheimer’s diagnosis, which provides the affected with a better chance of benefiting from treatment.”

An early and accurate diagnosis can have emotional, social, medical benefits, and this will help people financial, legal, care plans, explore treatment options, and participate in clinical trials. In fMRI images, although it is possible to recognize MCI manually, this requires detailed knowledge and is time-consuming. Deep running is a computer algorithm that learns in data how to detect patterns. These data may be obscure or too small for humans to recognize quickly.

For detecting MCI, the KTU researchers, modified a well-known existing algorithm, ResNet 18, to fine-tune it. From 138 individuals the researchers tested the algorithm by classifying fMRI scans after the training process. Six cognitive stages the scans depicted starting at healthy control and moving through MCI to Alzheimer’s disease. The algorithm was 99.99% accurate in differentiating between early MCI and Alzheimer’s disease. It was also 99.95% accurate in distinguishing between late MCI and AD and between MCI and early MCI.

According to Dr.Maskeliūnas, similar data to detect the early onset of the disease this not the 1st attempt. They were the main achievement was the algorithm’s accuracy.  He also shared that such high numbers are not indicators of actual real-life performance, but they work with medical institutes to get more data. For the medical professionals, more than 85% would still be beneficial in reducing their workload on data analysis. At this stage, they are working on fine-tuning algorithms. The new study is exciting but small; as a result, they cannot draw any conclusions yet about the proposed new diagnostic technique.

Dr.Maskeliūnas predicts the development of an algorithm-based app. Doctors would use them to identify MCI in people at risk of the disease. He said they need to make most of the data, which is why their research group focuses on the European open science principle. Anyone can use their knowledge and develop it further.

More details of Alzheimer’s –

This disease is the most common cause of dementia which can severely affect people’s ability to make judgments, think, and carry out daily tasks. Doctors have been aware of this disease for many years, but many aspects and possible cures are unknown. Till now, scientists are not clear about the cause of Alzheimer’s. According to current research, multiple factors can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. One of these is genetics or heredity. Medication prescribed by a doctor to treat the disease is impacted by genetic factors.

There are two genetic risks for this disease as per scientists like risk genes and deterministic genes. When a person has risk genes means the person has a high chance of getting the disease. Deterministic genes may directly cause disease to develop. Scientists have found several risks and deterministic genes for Alzheimer’s.

Several genes present a risk for Alzheimer’s. The gene which has the most significant connection to disease is the apolipoprotein E-E4 gene (APOE-e4). An estimated 20 to 25% of people with this gene may go to have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. A person who inherits this gene from both parents is at higher risk than one who inherits it from one parent. People who have the gene show symptoms at an early age and receive an earlier diagnosis. Other genes will affect late-onset and development. More research is needed to have a more precise understanding.

Certain factors in the brain are regulated by genes, such as the way the nerve cell communicate with each other and inflammation. APOE gene of some form is inherited by every person. The APOE-e3 and APOE-e2 have no association with the disease. APOE-e2 against the disease can provide protective effects on the brain.

Three types of specific deterministic genes have been identified till now that can cause the disease: presenilin-1 (PS-1), presenilin-2 (PS-2), amyloid precursor protein (APP).  For an excessive buildup of amyloid-beta peptides, these genes are responsible. This toxic protein clumps in the brain and causes nerve cells to damage and death, characteristic of this disease. But not all people who have early onset of the disease have these genes. The person with this gene who develops Alzheimer’s has a rare type known as familial Alzheimer’s disorder and represents 5% of cases globally. This disease caused by this gene typically occurs before the age of 65 years. People who are in their 40s and 50s can sometimes develop the disease.

Risk factor Alzheimer’s disease –

The most significant risk for the disease is age. People over 65 years of age are at a higher risk of developing the disease. By 85 years, out of 1 in 3 people have the disease, according to Alzheimer’s Association. Having a close relative with the disease increases the risk of the disease. People who have previous instances of head trauma to be at higher chances of developing the disease. Health problem in the heart or blood vessels also increases the risk of the disease. These damage blood vessels in the brain. Diseases like high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetics, stroke, high blood pressure.

Alzheimer’s disease and symptoms –

It usually involves a gradual loss of memory and brain function. The symptoms include changes in personality or mood, confusion about place or time, difficulty doing daily tasks, recognizing everyday objects, recognizing people, and frequently misplacing belongings. 

A person’s memory can naturally be impaired by aging, but this disease leads to a consistent period of forgetfulness. Over a certain period, the person with this disease will need assistance for daily routine functions. People may also experience agitation, restlessness, personality withdrawals, and speech problems.







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