Artificial intelligence can identify changes in the brains of people likely to get Alzheimer’s disease almost a decade before doctors can diagnose the disease from symptoms alone.

The technique uses non-invasive MRI scans to identify alterations in how regions of the brain are connected.

An early diagnosis can also allow people to start making lifestyle changes to help slow the progression of the disease.

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In an effort to enable earlier diagnosis, Nicola Amoroso and Marianna La Rocca at the University of Bari in Italy and their colleagues developed a machine-learning algorithm to discern structural changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

First, they trained the algorithm using 67 MRI scans, 38 of which were from people who had Alzheimer’s and 29 from healthy controls.

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