Engineer Fernando Silvio Nuņo Almirantearena has developed a system to determine the state of the human arterial system by diffuse logic techniques. This method, that can help in the prevention of heart attack, brain stroke or high blood pressure, is outlined in his PhD thesis, Inferences for diagnosis of the state of the human arterial system using elements of diffuse logic.
Medical conditions involving loss of arterial elasticity, such as artherosclerosis and high blood pressure, are the main cause of human death and incapacity and one of its characteristics is that it is asymptomatic during its early stages. In this context, Fernando Silvio Nuņo put forward the importance of having a method to evaluate the state of the artery walls and for the early detection of indications of such diseases, when there is still time to modify the eating and other life habits of the patient.
To this end, the author of the thesis set out to identify the biological age of the arterial system of 53 patients, 21 of which were young people between 15 and 20, 12 adults between 40 and 59 and 20 elderly people between 70 and 81. This was undertaken with a capacitive sensor to measure variation waves of the radial arterial diameter, from which data diffuse inferences were drawn that enabled obtaining the biological age of the arterial system of the patient, not necessarily the same as the chronological age of the subject. It should be pointed out that, in all cases, the patients had normal blood pressure and had not ingested any medication.
In some cases where there was a notable difference between biological and chronological ages, patients were referred to their doctor to discuss necessity of treatment such as changes in eating habits and, in this way, to prevent diseases related to the loss of elasticity in the blood vessels.
The system designed by Fernando Silvio Nuņo is currently being employed at the University of Mar de Plata in order to evaluate the arterial system of all employees, who subsequently have a medical check-up by the University's medical service.
The state of the arterial system, to date, has been evaluated through blood pressure measurement using the traditional armband. But this does not enable one to identify the biological age of the system, only the systolic and diastolic pressures.
The next challenge for this researcher is to evaluate the whole cardiovascular system, i.e. both the heart and the blood vessels. The mathematical tool to this end is there; only the evaluation of the cardiac variables is needed in conjunction with the variables already obtained for the arterial system.
A new software
The PhD outlined an automatic method for registering the values of the variables of the variation curves for the arterial diameters and the development of the corresponding software.
Likewise, with the aim of reducing the number of variables and of locating the most important ones for the observation of the arterial system, Principal Components Analysis and Lineal Multiple Regression mechanisms were applied in order to determine the dependent and independent variables of the system. The initial figure of 50 independent variables was reduced to 7.
Besides, it was confirmed that the 7 selected variables represented exactly the characteristics of the variation curves for the arterial diameters by means of the calculation of multiple correlation coefficients.
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