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Overcoming Alzheimer’s Disease Stigma by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technologies

Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA
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Brain Sci. 2020, 10(3), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10030183
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 11 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dementia and Cognitive Ageing)
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) imposes a considerable burden on those diagnosed. Faced with a neurodegenerative decline for which there is no effective cure or prevention method, sufferers of the disease are subject to judgement, both self-imposed and otherwise, that can have a great deal of effect on their lives. The burden of this stigma is more than just psychological, as reluctance to face an AD diagnosis can lead people to avoid early diagnosis, treatment, and research opportunities that may be beneficial to them, and that may help progress towards fighting AD and its progression. In this review, we discuss how recent advents in information technology may be employed to help fight this stigma. Using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, specifically natural language processing (NLP), to classify the sentiment and tone of texts, such as those of online posts on various social media sites, has proven to be an effective tool for assessing the opinions of the general public on certain topics. These tools can be used to analyze the public stigma surrounding AD. Additionally, there is much concern among individuals that an AD diagnosis, or evidence of pre-clinical AD such as a biomarker or imaging test results, may wind up unintentionally disclosed to an entity that may discriminate against them. The lackluster security record of many medical institutions justifies this fear to an extent. Adopting more secure and decentralized methods of data transfer and storage, and giving patients enhanced ability to control their own data, such as a blockchain-based method, may help to alleviate some of these fears. View Full-Text
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; artificial intelligence; natural language processing; sentiment analysis; social media; blockchain; stigma Alzheimer’s disease; artificial intelligence; natural language processing; sentiment analysis; social media; blockchain; stigma
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pilozzi, A.; Huang, X. Overcoming Alzheimer’s Disease Stigma by Leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technologies. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 183.

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