Artificial Intelligence Can Now Diagnose PTSD

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PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mysterious, debilitating mental condition that affects many people around the world. Across Canada, PTSD is also particularly common, so any new methods to tackle it are more than welcome. Now, in a new experiment, Canadian researchers from London, Ontario, used artificial intelligence to diagnose PTSD, and the machine learning system has been very accurate, so far.

The artificial intelligence system used brain scans to tell whether a person has the condition connected to exposure to traumatic events and experiences. The computer also uses statistical models to learn and enhance its performances. During the tests, the machine learning system made the difference between brain scans revealing PTSD and those that were not showing the condition with a 92 percent accuracy.

“What this study really showed is that training machine-learning algorithms – artificial intelligence – with brain images, we were able to classify PTSD from health controls, but also to further differentiate PTSD from dissociative sub-type PTSD,” explained the study’s leading author, Andrew Nicholson from the Lawson Health Research Institute.

Artificial Intelligence Can Now Diagnose PTSD

Even more, as Andrew Nicholson reported, the artificial intelligence managed to differentiate various types of PTSD, too, which is a very promising result. The scientists, led by Nicholson, are now looking forward to future studies to improve the technology and come up with an excellent new tool for diagnosing PTSD.

“The direction that we want to go in is to take this technology and translate it to more clinically feasible modalities,” Andrew Nicholson added. “What’s critical right now is that our treatments are kind of trial and error and we don’t have a protocol that really matches the right treatment to a specific person,” he continued.

“In the future, we can actually use this [artificial intelligence] to predict the symptom trajectory, but also how likely they are to going to respond to a certain treatment. We really believe there are a lot more sub-types and different diagnoses of PTSD that we have yet to discover. Machine learning will allow us to data-mine, in a sense, to objectively differentiate patients,” Nicholson concluded.


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