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Computer system could help predict Alzheimer's, diabetes risks

June 1, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
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A new computer application called Bayesil can quickly and accurately produce a person’s metabolic profile from a single blood sample to help predict the onset risks of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and even cancer, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry and blood serum or cerebrospinal fluid, Bayesil is able to automate the process of determining the concentration of certain compounds, or metabolites, in the body. And depending on the concentration of certain metabolites, an accurate prediction can be made as to what condition or disease could develop over time, say the University of Alberta researchers.

“The analogy is that we’ve been looking at the world through a keyhole and now we’re looking through a picture window,” said David Wishart, a professor in the departments of biological sciences and computing science at the University of Alberta, in a press release. “For most of the last century we’ve just measured a specific compound, like glucose for diabetes. But if you could measure a hundred compounds at a time, you would see there are a number of other things that are changing that are quite significant, all of which can tell you how to treat or manage a given condition.”

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