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An Algorithm is Being Developed to Detect MS

Sepetmber 11th, 2015


Algorithms have been developed by researchers at IIT-Madras that could help detect multiple sclerosis, this is especially helpful since the disease is visible in very small lesions.

The team of researchers focused on the development of automated methods to perform accurate segmentation of disorders such as MS and glioma. The segmentations are important for doctors to obtain quantitative methods for treatment monitoring, planning and surgical operations.

Though the disorder-affected areas in brain MRI could be difficult due to its complex shape and vague boundaries, meaning that the task needs to be performed slice-by-slice since radiologists cannot visualize the subject in 3D.

The core algorithms that were developed in the process could also be used to detect other disorders as well. Since MS is a chronic disease which is visible as many small lesions, they can easily be missed—making this a difficult task, one in which researchers aim to fix.

Technologies inspired by advances in neuroscience known as ‘Deep Learning’ are loosely based on the interpretation of information processing as well as communication within the nervous system. Developed based upon how the human brain and nervous system work, these are the neural networks which consist of stacked layers together which are the computational equivalent of information being processed in the brain.

Deep Learning is also what powers things like voice recognition on smartphones, Google’s self-driving car and the feature on Facebook that automatically tags others in photos.


These algorithms are ultimately a tool for diagnosis aids for clinicians to judge one’s progression of disease as well as the efficiency of therapy. When implemented, these methods can very much be time and cost reducing for brain diseases like MS. Testing with more clinical data would be the next step that the company has in mind, but as of now there is confidence that the product will be put to use in a span of two to four years. 

An Algorithm is Being Developed to Detect MS - Fri September 11, 2015 12:14 PM