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Effectiveness of the Integrated Cognitive Assessment Test for Alzheimer’s assessment

Combined with its powerful use of explainable artificial intelligence (AI), the ICA’s inherent avoidance of demographic bias also points to its ability to enable granular patient stratification.

Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is thought to affect 50 million people worldwide and usually starts after age 65 - © AFP/File Philippe LOPEZ
Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is thought to affect 50 million people worldwide and usually starts after age 65 - © AFP/File Philippe LOPEZ

A newly-published peer-reviewed paper  validates the effectiveness and sensitivity of an artificial intelligence powered test as a digital cognitive biomarker for monitoring patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s Disease

The early stage dementia detection test is called the Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA),and it has been developed by UK digital health innovator Cognetivity Neurosciences.

The research into the application of AI for these specific diseases appears in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

The technology utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to help detect the earliest signs of impairment by testing the performance of large areas of the brain to support diagnosis of dementia. It has achieved regulatory approval for clinical use in the UK and Europe with future clinical approval anticipated in North America.

The latest research reaffirms the ICA’s sensitivity to early dementia signs and it attests that the ICA is culture-static and bias-free, which allows for rapid, population-wide deployment across the globe, including risk-based screening in primary care.

An important finding from the research is that the ICA performs consistently in different international populations. What is important about this is where the results can be generalized across them, without the need to collect population-specific normative data in new environments.

A limitation with most traditional cognitive tests is that they require the collection of language and culture-specific data in new global locations before they can be deployed at scale.

The suitability of the ICA was developed from an assessment of more than 200 study participants from a range of different cultures. When the data was compared to other methods, there were no recorded differences in language, culture and education. The AI was able to make these assessments remotely.

The ICA is designed to identify individuals in need of treatment and also those most likely to benefit from a particular type of pharmacological intervention in the near-future.

Lead researcher, geriatric psychiatrist Professor Dag Aarsland, states: “The diagnostic accuracy of the ICA and its novel use of explainable AI, combined with the power to generalize across other languages and cultures, make it uniquely suitable for cognitive screening across large and diverse populations.”

The paper research paper is titled “Validity and cultural generalisability of a 5-minute AI-based, computerised cognitive assessment in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s Dementia”.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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