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Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer’s years before diagnosis — ScienceDaily

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Artificial intelligence predicts Alzheimer's years before diagnosis -- ScienceDaily

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Artificial intelligence (AI) technology improves the ability of brain imaging to predict Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Timely diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is extremely important, as treatments and interventions are more effective early in the course of the disease. However, early diagnosis has proven to be challenging. Research has linked the disease process to changes in metabolism, as shown by glucose uptake in certain regions of the brain, but these changes can be difficult to recognize.

“Differences in the pattern of glucose uptake in the brain are very subtle and diffuse,” said study co-author Jae Ho Sohn, M.D., from the Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Department at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). “People are good at finding specific biomarkers of disease, but metabolic changes represent a more global and subtle process.”

The study’s senior author, Benjamin Franc, M.D., from UCSF, approached Dr. Sohn and University of California, Berkeley, undergraduate student Yiming Ding through the Big Data in Radiology (BDRAD) research group, a multidisciplinary team of physicians and engineers focusing on radiological data science. Dr. Franc was interested in applying deep learning, a type of AI in which machines learn by example much like humans do, to find changes in brain metabolism predictive of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers trained the deep learning algorithm on a special imaging technology known as 18-F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). In an FDG-PET scan, FDG, a radioactive glucose compound, is injected into the blood. PET scans can then measure the uptake of FDG in brain cells, an indicator of metabolic activity.

The researchers had access to data from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), a major multi-site study focused on clinical trials to improve prevention and treatment of this disease. The ADNI dataset included more than 2,100 FDG-PET brain images from 1,002 patients. Researchers trained the deep learning algorithm on 90 percent of the dataset and then tested it on the remaining 10 percent of the dataset. Through deep learning, the algorithm was able to teach itself metabolic patterns that corresponded to Alzheimer’s disease.

Finally, the researchers tested the algorithm on an independent set of 40 imaging exams from 40 patients that it had never studied. The algorithm achieved 100 percent sensitivity at detecting the disease an average of more than six years prior to the final diagnosis.

“We were very pleased with the algorithm’s performance,” Dr. Sohn said. “It was able to predict every single case that advanced to Alzheimer’s disease.”

Although he cautioned that their independent test set was small and needs further validation with a larger multi-institutional prospective study, Dr. Sohn said that the algorithm could be a useful tool to complement the work of radiologists — especially in conjunction with other biochemical and imaging tests — in providing an opportunity for early therapeutic intervention.

“If we diagnose Alzheimer’s disease when all the symptoms have manifested, the brain volume loss is so significant that it’s too late to intervene,” he said. “If we can detect it earlier, that’s an opportunity for investigators to potentially find better ways to slow down or even halt the disease process.”

Future research directions include training the deep learning algorithm to look for patterns associated with the accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, abnormal protein clumps and tangles in the brain that are markers specific to Alzheimer’s disease, according to UCSF’s Youngho Seo, Ph.D., who served as one of the faculty advisors of the study.

“If FDG-PET with AI can predict Alzheimer’s disease this early, beta-amyloid plaque and tau protein PET imaging can possibly add another dimension of important predictive power,” he said.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Lessons from the Melee in Mali

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Lessons from the Melee in Mali

Just a couple of days ago, former president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, penned an assuring message on his successful mediation trips – leading the ECOWAS fact-finding and resolution team to Mali. The ink is still wet on that page when we however, woke up to the news of a coup in Mali. Whether it is Gambia, Guinea, Sudan, name them, Africa seems to be on the back foot when it comes to democratic gains. Is this a recurring narrative?

Mali should be another stark reminder to other African governments especially Nigeria that when an ineffective, out of touch and repressive government is about to come to an end, it always happens suddenly, not gradually. The tempo always builds up but from the inside, presenting a false calm exterior. Then like a landslide, it unexpectedly gives; the whole mountain comes crumbling as can be seen happening right now in Mali.

Seething resentments towards kleptocratic African governments always showcase themselves at the fall. African governments are miles behind, regarding the yearnings of their people and just like it happened in the ’60’s and ’70’s during our independence and subsequent coups and counter coups, Africa – led by its yearning youths connected globally through technology and the internet –is again bursting at the seams for legitimacy, effective leadership, direction and global integration.

The elitist old folks at the helm, unable to catch up and belligerent towards inclusive prosperity and development, are using their incumbent powers and minions to thwart the wishes of the people but for how long?

After the World War II, the world is again witnessing an unprecedented degree of untold suffering and death at peacetime, as a result of human disaster, but in Africa. It seems like the world rebuilt itself and moved on without us. How did we get here? How did we get left behind? First we started the blame game with the effect of slave trade, then the shackles of colonialism, yet Eastern countries have come out of both and are prosperous regardless.

China and the rest of the block are another testament that most of our arguments though with their merits, don’t hold water in their entirety. We are the makers of our destinies.
The origin of Mali’s problems, like every other Africa country, is government sectarianism – where a people in power skew electoral outcomes to favor themselves and their minions. This always led to widespread corruption, mismanagement of the economy, worsening security situations and exacerbating communal violence consequently.

For Mali, it started on June 5 when thousands of people went on street protest against the hijacked outcome of the parliamentary elections which took place on March 25. It turned deadly and 11 people were killed. As it is, regional security is threatened, at a time when COVID-19 and economic positions of these countries, indeed the whole world, are in tatters.

Whether it is Nigeria, Congo, Somalia, Kenya, name it, the problem is the same. When responsibility is alienated from governance, it breeds impunity which leads to corruption.

Like cancer, this corruption feeds and sustains itself by permeating all democratic institutions in its bid to replicate, validate and perpetuate itself, thus adulterating the electoral process which ultimately leads to political disintegration with the people seen as the enemy.

Our present crop of leaders has worked constitutions and political structures to such an extent that they sit home and predict electoral and judicial outcomes to the last digit.

This begs the question, is democracy working for Africa and if it doesn’t, what works? At times like this, we as Africans, should look inwards and take stock of how far we have come with the advent of constitutional democracy, where we have lost it and what should be done. The Chinese have found their formula, the Russians too. We too must find our path to an all inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future.

By Iboro Otu

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BAN ON THE CANAANLAND ADORATION (ALIAS E-DEY WORK) MINISTRY AND WITHDRAWAL OF FACULTY FROM REV. FR. MAGNUS EBERE SDV

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BAN ON THE CANAANLAND ADORATION (ALIAS E-DEY WORK) MINISTRY AND WITHDRAWAL OF FACULTY FROM REV. FR. MAGNUS EBERE SDV

To the Clergy, Religious and Laity of
Ahiara Diocese.

Dear people of God!

Compliments of the season: peace and joy!

As bishop, it is my duty to uphold authentic gospel values, sound Catholic traditions in worship and defend the teaching of the Catholic Church on faith and morals. It is also my responsibility to ensure that it is transmitted to the faithful in its purity and integrity in my area of pastoral jurisdiction.

Having established that there are serious abuses in the administration of the sacraments and sacramentals in the Canaanland Adoration Ministry a.k.a E-Dey Work as well as many other practices in the Adoration Ministry which are contrary to the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, I withdrew the Faculties of the Diocese of Ahiara from Fr. Magnus Ebere a priest of the Society of Divine Vocation (SDV), who started the Adoration Ministry without the required permission from an ecclesiastical authority. Consequently, he can no longer legitimately carry out priestly ministry such as preaching, celebration of the Mass, hearing confessions and administration of the other Sacraments and Sacramentals in the Diocese of Ahiara.

Nevertheless, Fr. Magnus has continued his private Ministry at his Centre in Onicha Ezinihitte in the Diocese of Ahiara in gross disobedience to me the bishop and also his Superior General in Rome who has also directed him to stop his Adoration Ministry. I hereby state that the Catholic Church has nothing to do with his Ministry. Accordingly, the faithful of Ahiara Catholic Diocese and other Dioceses are hereby warned to desist from attending the Ministry of a defiant priest, who has no respect for Church authority and Church law. Those who attend his private Ministry do so at their own spiritual peril.

God bless you!

Sincerely yours

Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji
Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese

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