BACKGROUND: Donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine are potentially effective interventions for cognitive impairment in dementia, but the use of these drugs has not been personalised to individual patients yet. We examined whether artificial intelligence-based recommendations can identify the best treatment using routinely collected patient-level information. METHODS: Six thousand eight hundred four patients aged 59-102 years with a diagnosis of dementia from two National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trusts in the UK were used for model training/internal validation and external validation, respectively. A personalised prescription model based on the Recurrent Neural Network machine learning architecture was developed to predict the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) scores post-drug initiation. The drug that resulted in the smallest decline in cognitive scores between prescription and the next visit was selected as the treatment of choice. Change of cognitive scores up to 2 years after treatment initiation was compared for model evaluation. RESULTS: Overall, 1343 patients with MMSE scores were identified for internal validation and 285 [21.22%] took the drug recommended. After 2 years, the reduction of mean [standard deviation] MMSE score in this group was significantly smaller than the remaining 1058 [78.78%] patients (0.60 [0.26] vs 2.80 [0.28]; P = 0.02). In the external validation cohort (N = 1772), 222 [12.53%] patients took the drug recommended and reported a smaller MMSE reduction compared to the 1550 [87.47%] patients who did not (1.01 [0.49] vs 4.23 [0.60]; P = 0.01). A similar performance gap was seen when testing the model on patients prescribed with AChEIs only. CONCLUSIONS: It was possible to identify the most effective drug for the real-world treatment of cognitive impairment in dementia at an individual patient level. Routine care patients whose prescribed medications were the best fit according to the model had better cognitive performance after 2 years.
Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, Artificial intelligence, Dementia, Memantine, Personalised treatment