Welcome to FutureTech interview series. A series of delightful interact with innovators, leaders and outstanding scientists.We are presenting the interaction with Dr Pravat Kumar Mandal, a scientist from National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), Gurugram. He is a PhD from IIT Madras. He participated in clinical residence program University of Pittsburgh Medical Science. He worked as assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh Medical Science. He also worked as Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Radiology, John Hopkins Medical School.
What is Alzheimer’s disease? What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
Dr Mandal: It is a very pertinent question. Alzheimer’s disease is an old age disease. The person suffering from this disease even forgets his/her name. The person even forgets the names of their wife, son or daughter. The disease doesn’t appear in the person behavior suddenly. It affects the patient slowly. There are lots of symptoms, which can indicate that the person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The patient will keep the key bunch at appropriate place and they will search for the same thing in micro-oven for it. The Alzheimer’s patients also forget the day. Most of the time they will go for shopping and will forget that they had to spend time and money for shopping. The patients of this disease also lose geographical orientation. Such patient some time doesn’t return home when they go out for a walk or other activities.
What is the present diagnostic strategy?
Dr Mandal: Present diagnostic strategy is symptomatic. One should not ignore Alzheimer’s disease just tagging it as an old age disease. This disease should be taken seriously by the relatives of the patients. It is just not an age related disease. The is also related to many facts of environment, which effect a person and the disease take place. There is no cure of Alzheimer’s disease. So what ever clinical treatment is given to the patient is symptomatic.
Your answer is that the Alzheimer’s disease is not curable?
Dr Mandal: Yes the disease is not curable. Educated environment and regular checkup can keep the patient in manageable condition. The treatment available is all managing treatment. Memory enhancing medication is given to the patients. So these are temporary treatment
What is your diagnostic & research strategy?
Our research work is clinical research work. This should be noted that the disease is happening in the brain so all the method used for this disease management should be on the brain. Our strength of research and diagnosis is that our method is completely non-invasive. That means the patient is not exposed to radiation and no blood test is done. All patients who come to us are scanned for the brain. Even pregnant women can undergo Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test. All our diagnosis is based on MRI.
How did you come up with artificial intelligence-based database for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, which is non-invasive?
Dr Mandal: Yes my method is non-invasive. In this disease many patient is misdiagnosed. This indicates severe crunch in qualified doctors in the country. India doesn’t have very large number of good neurologists. So, availability of large number of doctors for diagnosis and treatment of the disease is a problem. There are specialized hospitals only in cities. So, there is an urgent need availability of early diagnostic process in the country for the Alzheimer’s disease. This will curb the misdiagnosis process and bring us close to the cause of the disease. What motivated me in developing AI based early diagnosis of the disease is to go back to the real cause of the disease. I created a system and platform, which is based on real data. Early diagnosis process starts, clinicians have solution in hand but advance stage sets in. So treatment starts before the disease is on its horizon.
When treatment starts early all will be well with the patient before going into deteriorating phase. Robust AI system for Alzheimer diagnosis is good for early diagnosis of the disease. Accuracy and correct information model is a must for accurate and early diagnosis of the disease. Accuracy and correct information model is a must for accurate and early diagnosis of the disease. If the information in model is correct then diagnosis for the disease is done in good way.
Present government stand on Artificial intelligence?
Dr Mandal: Our government of India under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi Jee has given a very good focus on Artificial intelligence based research. I am very thankful to you for his help and initiative. They are giving huge amount of support to the innovator. I am supporter of Bharat inclusion initiative by the government. This government is very focused government for scientific development.
What is the data collection process in your model?
We need to do our research and do accurate and correct collection. Data collection in my team is done by a very dedicated team. The data are authenticated and done by very profound and expert scientists. Dr Deepika Shukla is one of them and she is very expert in her work. All the members of the team are hard working people and it is their collective work. They actually are the backbone of the work. It is multifaceted work. I am actually doing infrastructure building work.
What difference you find in India and western countries data?
This is a very good point. The data in India for Alzheimer disease is a very good point. We know that India has 1.3 billion people. We have lot of young people. We also have lot of old people as well. All old population won’t have Alzheimer disease. But some of them who don’t have the symptoms of disease may the carrier of the disease. In India the ratio of people suffering from Alzheimer disease is less than that of Western countries. In western countries the number of people having Alzheimer disease