News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

'Money should be spent helping dementia patients, not early diagnoses': Christian expert raises concerns over new AI trial

by Heather Preston
care-old-elderly-patient-main_article_image.jpg - Banner image

A Christian dementia expert has raised concerns over a new artificial intelligence system that could diagnose dementia in just a day.

Researchers are trialling a system which may be able to diagnose dementia after one brain scan.

Scientists involved in the work believe this early intervention could help with efforts to slow the disease's progression.

Christian author Louise Morse is a specialist in dementia and has written five books on the subject.

Speaking to Premier, she said she is concerned about misdiagnosis as other ilnesses can mimic dementia and cause similar problems.

"Dementia can be so difficult to diagnose. There are wrong diagnoses. [This trial] is based on an algorithm that scans the brain and compares it to similar symptoms.

"My question is: how good is the information being fed into it?" she said. 

The system works by comparing brain scans of people who suspect they might have dementia with those who have already been diagnosed. An algorithm is used to detect patterns in the scans that expert neurologists cannot identify.

Morse says she knows of people who have taken drastic measures such as selling their houses to pay for care, only to find out that they were wrongly diagnosed with the disease.

"There are things that will present as dementia, which is why there is usually a hesitancy by experienced consultants and doctors to give too quick a diagnosis," she added.

According to the NHS, over 850,000 people in the UK could have dementia, with the condition affecting one in 14 people over the age of 65, and one in six people aged over 80.

Morse argues that these figures are not accurate and create unnecessary fear and negative expectations for potential sufferers.

"Dementia Alliance International looks deeper and wider at the figures and says the actual number of diagnoses is something like 530,000. That number being diagnosed has gone down year on year. 

"Those figures of 850,000 were based on projections from the 1980s that haven't been proven because lifestyle changes have reduced the number of people diagnosed and living with dementia. Dementia has been reducing for the last three decades by 15 per cent." 

Morse concluded that: "God is in charge of our lives, our times are in his hands" and that "more money should be spent on supporting people with dementia than worrying about early diagnosis."

Some 500 patients are expected to take part in the first year of the trial at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and other memory clinics across the country.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email