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Computer program helps doctors recognize a rare hormone disorder (Acromegaly)

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posted on May, 7 2011 @ 01:39 AM

NEW YORK, May 6, 2011 (Reuters Health) — If you show people's faces to a computer, it does better than doctors at recognizing the signs of a rare hormone disorder, researchers report in a new study.

Human experts were able to correctly pick out people with acromegaly roughly six out of 10 times.

In this study, the researchers took front and side facial photographs of 57 people with acromegaly and 60 people without. All the participants were Caucasian and similar in age. The researchers wrote a computer program that analyzes facial characteristics, such as the distances between features. The computer out-performed physicians in identifying both those who had acromegaly and those who did not.

Source: NewsDaily

Acromegaly is a hormonal disorder that causes body tissues to enlarge. It can affect the hands, feet, lips, ears and even organs like the heart and kidneys.

There several methods to diagnose Acromegaly:
-Blood tests that measure the level of growth hormone.
-An MRI or CT scan.
-Tests to detect tumors.

The development of this disorder is slow and progressive; sometimes it can be so gradual that even doctors can't identify it in its early stages.

But now, with the help of this computer program people affected with this disorder will have more chances of getting early treatment and preventing severe complications like kidney and heart failure.

Of course it's only going to provide additional help, not replace a normal examination, but it's great to know that there are advances in technology that help people with this rare disorder.

There are famous cases of Acromegaly:
-Paul Wight, the wrestler, also known as "The Big Show"

-Carel Struycken, a Dutch actor. He played "Lurch" in the films The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.

-Richard Kiel. "Jaws" from the James Bond movies.

-Abraham Lincoln is thought to have it.

Well, that's it. I thought it was interesting and didn't see any threads about it so I decided to share it with you guys

edit on 7-5-2011 by Casandra because: Spelling

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 02:45 AM
Thanks for this thread, do you have anymore information regarding this research etc....

I have Acromegaly and was diagnosed in Feb 2007. I have only just found this thread, but I will come back and write more about my experiences regarding this quite debilitating medical condition and how it affects me on a daily basis and the surgery and treatment I have had and still receive on a monthly basis. A very interesting medical condition that I really wish that I didn't have, but at least I am one in a million..........Haha...

Will come back to this early next week..........

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 02:55 AM
reply to post by davethebear

Here's some more information about the study: A Novel Approach to the Detection of Acromegaly: Accuracy of Diagnosis by Automatic Face Classification

I'm really sorry you have it. Hopefully this new program will help people get treated early.

It would be great if you could share your experience with us, given that it's a rare condition. I wrote the thread because I wanted to help people know more about it.
edit on 7-5-2011 by Casandra because: Spelling

posted on May, 7 2011 @ 03:30 PM
You can purchase the full article in a PDF version here: Wiley Online Library: Early Diagnosis of Acromegaly: Computers Versus Clinicians

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