Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Future mental health care may include diagnosis via brain scan and computer algorithm

Computer IDs differences in brains of patients with schizophrenia or autism

From the August 20, 2020 news release from the University of Tokyo

A multidisciplinary team of medical and machine learning experts trained their computer algorithm using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scans of 206 Japanese adults, a combination of patients already diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or schizophrenia, individuals considered high risk for schizophrenia and those who experienced their first instance of psychosis, as well as neurotypical people with no mental health concerns. All of the volunteers with autism were men, but there was a roughly equal number of male and female volunteers in the other groups.

Machine learning uses statistics to find patterns in large amounts of data. These programs find similarities within groups and differences between groups that occur too often to be easily dismissed as coincidence. This study used six different algorithms to distinguish between the different MRI images of the patient groups.

The algorithm used in this study learned to associate different psychiatric diagnoses with variations in the thickness, surface area or volume of areas of the brain in MRI images. It is not yet known why any physical difference in the brain is often found with a specific mental health condition.”

Read the entire news release here

August 18, 2020 - Posted by | Psychiatry | , , ,

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