Diagnosing Dementia: Home Screening Device

A new way to examine age-related cognitive decline at home is now available. The test asks people to notice sounds and flashes on their phone or computer. It was developed by researchers from the UK and Switzerland and exhibits that the simple and economical test can be used to aid in improving early diagnosis of MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) and supply interventions as early as it is able to be done. This is very important as MCI could develop into Alzheimer’s in 30%-50% of people.

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Over One Hundred Participants in the Dementia Diagnosis Device Study

All of the 123 participants were asked to press a button every time they heard a sound or saw a flash of light. Sometimes the sounds or flashes were presented alone, sometimes the two occurred simultaneously. Out of the 123, 51 were healthy young adults, 49 were healthy older adults, and 23 were older adults who have MCI.

The researchers took two measures about every participant’s performance. First is if they were faster at noticing the sounds or the flashes of light, and second was the extent to which they benefited from noticing a combined auditory-visual event against just either sounds or flashes. The researchers can actually precisely tell if the person has MCI using the standard clinical tests.

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Wider Reaching, Lower Cost Test

The leader of the research team who was from Lausanne, mentioned that the team is excited about their work because it shows that simple tests can help clinical practice in reaching a wider population and at a lower cost.

They’re also happy that their study clearly exhibited the connection between their vision and hearing and their part in supporting memory dysfunction. Professor Murray also said that it’s becoming clearer now that how preserved a person’s cognitive skills are as the person gets older depends on how intact the senses are.

Supportive Device Paves Way for Dementia Diagnosis

The cognitive neuroscientist and clinical psychologist from the UK team stated that their findings open the exciting likelihood that simple perceptual undertaking or exercises can be a beneficial complementary screening and evaluation tool for MCI. Their team is now making new ways of validating their screening tool.

They are also exploring the part of neurotransmitter systems in pathological and age-related changes in cognitive and sensory functions to identify early diagnosis and even possible treatment choices.

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