Autoimmune diseases are chronic, multifactorial conditions. Through machine learning (ML), a branch of the wider field of artificial intelligence, it is possible to extract patterns within patient data, and exploit these patterns to predict patient outcomes for improved clinical management. Here, we surveyed the use of Machine Learning methods to address clinical problems in autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases are known to be chronic conditions. Examples of auto-immune diseases are: Lupus, systemic Lupus erythematosus, sickle cell anemia, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune thyroid disease. These diseases are characterized by abnormal immunity reactions involving the immune cells. An auto-immune response occurs when the immune cells attack the body itself.
Autoimmune diseases affect one out of every one hundred million people around the globe. And these diseases affect women more than men. Among autoimmune diseases, some of the most common are:
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease. Its symptoms include inflammation, swelling, stiffness of the joints and muscles, fatigue, fever, and osteoarthritis. Systemic Lupus erythematosus (often referred to as Lupus series) is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's white blood cells called monocytes to attack the body's tissues. Another example of an immune-related autoimmune disease is allergic rhinitis, which commonly affects newborn babies.
All of these diseases affect the immune system, but the symptoms are often different for each type of disease. This is because some types of autoimmune diseases may produce similar signs or symptoms. When the body's immune system attacks healthy cells, the result can be damage to the tissues. Cells within the blood called white blood cells called lymphocytes may also be affected. Healthy tissue is destroyed in the process. Autoimmune diseases affect the immune system by damaging or killing healthy cells.
An example of an autoimmune disease that destroys healthy tissue is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Because the antibodies attacking the thyroid gland produce histamine, which is involved in making the immune system strong enough to fight infection, Hashimoto's is a potentially dangerous auto-immune disease. Patients with Hashimoto's thyroiditis experience symptoms such as depression, muscle pain, weight loss, slowed growth, constipation and swelling of the joints. Other symptoms of Hashimoto's disease that have been associated with thyroid include the following: fatigue, slow growth, low energy, slow reaction times, hair loss, slow healing, a decreased appetite, jaundice, increased sensitivity to sunlight, and skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
Another type of autoimmune disease that destroys healthy cells is a condition called rheumatoid arthritis, also known as systemic lupazolus impetigo. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but doctors treat it with medications that control the inflammation of the joints. Anti-inflammatory medications such as steroids and interferon also help to reduce the symptoms of the disease. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from joint swelling, stiffness and pain, and if not properly treated can cause deformity or destruction of the joints over time.
Children and adolescents are often affected by autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, anemia and anhidrosis. Autoimmune diseases in children are often diagnosed as encephalopathy, brittle hair, cradle cap, aphthous stomatitis and dermatitis herpes. These conditions affect the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, palms and soles. Infants and children who are suffering from these conditions can experience serious emotional, physical and mental disturbances, and pediatric rheumatologists can often treat them with medications that will help control their symptoms. These professionals work closely with patients to help them manage their symptoms, including diet changes and behavioral management techniques. Infants and children who suffer from autoimmune diseases should be referred to a rheumatologist, dermatologist or pediatric doctor for further treatment and diagnosis.
Autoimmune diseases can also be triggered by certain health conditions such as infections, stress, exposure to allergens or even certain medications. If you think you may have an immune-based disease such as Lupus or some form of childhood-based syndrome, then seeing a qualified medical professional is important to ensure that you receive the best care possible. Pediatric rheumatologists and nurses specialize in working with children and adolescents who are experiencing serious symptoms of an auto-immune disease. A quality Pediatric rheumatologist can evaluate your medical history, perform blood tests, examine your joints and other bodily tissues, order appropriate tests for diagnosing your condition and determine the best course of treatment.
A systematic review was conducted using embase and computers and applied sciences complete databases. Relevant papers included “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence” and the autoimmune diseases search term(s) in their title, abstract or key words.
- studies that are not written in English
- no real human patient data included
- publication prior to 2010
- studies that are not peer reviewed
- non-autoimmune disease comorbidity research
- opinion review papers