Friday Five

Groundbreaking discoveries in disease diagnostics – it’s this week’s Friday Five

AI may help to detect heart problems

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US have developed an AI-enabled Electro-cardiogram (ECG), which can detect signs of the common heart condition, atrial fibrillation.

Atrial fibrillation causes the heart to beat irregularly and increases the risk of stroke and long-term heart conditions.

The condition is relatively simple to diagnose when the heart is bearing irregularly, but not when it returns to normal. The new AI-enabled ECG may enable detection of previous occurrences of atrial fibrillation.

Read more on BBC News.

 

Highly sensitive blood test could improve breast cancer treatment

A new, highly sensitive blood test has been developed that can monitor breast cancer patients with early stage disease.

The test uses a new technique, called TARDIS (TARgeted DIgitial Sequencing) which analyses circulating cancer DNA in the blood stream. This could allow doctors to use blood samples to continuously monitor how well breast cancer treatments are working.

Read more at Cancer Research UK.

New blood test might make early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s a reality.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have developed a test that could help detect the brain changes of early Alzheimer’s disease.

The test measures levels of the protein amyloid beta in the blood which can predict whether the protein has accumulated in the brain, an early marker for the disease.

Read more on BBC News.

New hormone injection aids weight loss in obese patients

Researchers at Imperial College London have developed a hormone injection which can aid weight loss in obese patients by mimicking the effect of a gastric bypass operation.

After a gastric bypass operation, the body starts producing proteins which suppress appetite, trigger weight loss and help sugar absorption from food.

The hormonal injection was trialled in patients 15 patients and they lost an average of 4.4kg over four weeks


Quote of the week

“The power of artificial intelligence to improve medicine, to save lives, to improve the way treatments are done, that power is enormous,” Matt Hancock.

The Health Secretary has announced that £250 million will be spent on boosting the role of AI within the NHS, with the aim of tackling some of the biggest challenges in healthcare including diagnosing cancer, identifying patients most at risk of dementia and monitoring heart disease.

Read more at BBC News.