Big Data And AI to Predict The Evolution Of Multiple Sclerosis.
Neurology is a constantly advancing medical specialty that draws on new technologies to help neurologists every day in their consultations and, with this, to improve the quality of life of patients.
Technologies such as Big Data in Health and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be applied to medical data to help specialists in this field.
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How does Multiple Sclerosis originate?
To learn more about the origin and evolution of this disease, personalized prognoses are made. Multiple Sclerosis has different clinical factors and other data that provide information on the evolution of the patient, such as:
- Clinical factors: Age, sex, symptoms, number, and types of outbreaks.
- Patient context: diet, sun exposure, pathogens, etc.
- MRI of the patient
- Other biomarkers
This disease severely affects patients’ quality of life and reduces their life expectancy by an average of between 5 and 10 years. In Spain, it is estimated that some 47,000 people with MS, and between 1,500 and 2,000 new patients appear yearly.
Why apply Big Data and AI to Multiple Sclerosis?
Improving the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis is essential since it is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS), becoming the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults in the West.
Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most extraordinary challenges facing neuroscience today; in addition to migraines, which affect 10% of the world’s population and the quality of life, cerebral stroke, the leading cause of death in women, and Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects 50 million people worldwide.
Twenty years ago, there was no treatment for MS, and it was in 1995 that new treatments began to appear. Dr. Rafael Arroyo and Dr. Guillermo Izquierdo have worked on the investigation of new drugs to treat the disease.
How are Big Data and AI applied in Multiple Sclerosis?
Neurologists follow two essential steps when treating Multiple Sclerosis patients: first, they make a prognosis, and then they study which drugs they can prescribe to the patient.
The “Model MS” is based on these procedures. Doctor Rafael Arroyo González and Doctor Guillermo Izquierdo have worked with the Knowledge Engineering Institute applying Big Data and Artificial Intelligence techniques.
What benefits does the Model MS project bring to neuroscience?
The “Model MS” project is a specialist support tool with which valuable information has been discovered when describing Multiple Sclerosis patients.
For example, it has been seen that Multiple Sclerosis is more frequent in women, that factors such as solar radiation and proximity to the sea are more important for the diagnosis than previously thought, and, above all, it has been shown that it is always better to treat than not treat a patient.
With “Model MS,” it has been shown which treatment can work best so that the patient does not progress in their disease. The tool is based on different factors that show how the patient behaves with the different treatments and thus help the neurologist to see which would be the best treatment.
We can also say that the tool “learns” from the data provided about the disease. Thus, for example, it helps to predict how the disease will evolve, what is the ideal treatment or which drug is the best for each specific patient.
With Big Data and Artificial Intelligence techniques, it has been possible to discover variables that are not usually taken into account for diagnosis and have made it possible to confirm the relevance of the latest drugs on the market.