Simple, cost-effective test may be used to help improve early diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and provide interventions as early as possible
An international team of scientists have developed a new way to screen for age-related cognitive decline at home using a test which asks people to detect sounds and flashes on their laptop or phone.
Developed by researchers from Switzerland and the UK, the study shows that the simple, cost-effective test may be used to help improve early diagnosis of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and provide interventions as early as possible. This is particularly relevant given that MCI can develop into Alzheimer’s disease in 30 to 50 percent of people.
The research, which included UK researchers Dr Trudi Edginton from City, University of London and Dr Alison Eardley from the University of Westminster, also sheds new light on our understanding of how the brains of older individuals process information from the different senses. It is published today in today in Nature Scientific Reports.
There are currently no diagnostic blood tests like those for diabetes for MCI, and instead the existing diagnosis involves lengthy neuropsychological assessments with tests of cognitive control and memory, along with questions about daily activities and mood. These costly tests require training, often take a lot of patient and clinician time, and can be impacted by factors such as the individual’s IQ, socio-economic status and even the testers themselves. As a result, with an ageing global population, and an around 50 million people estimated to be living with dementia worldwide, there is an urgent need for such a test.
As part of the study, the 123 participants were simply asked to press a button whenever they saw a flash of light or heard a sound. At times, the flashes or sounds were presented alone, but at other times the two appeared simultaneously. The participants included 51 healthy young adults, 49 healthy older adults and 23 older MCI adults.
The researchers, who were led by Professor Micah Murray from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, then extracted two measures about each person’s performance: 1) whether they were faster at detecting flashes or sound, and 2) the extent to which they benefited from detecting an auditory-visual event versus either flashes or sounds. Dr Paul Matusz from the University of Lausanne explained that by using just these two measures, the team could accurately tell if a person was diagnosed with MCI using standard clinical tests.
Professor Murray, Professor of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences at the University Hospital Centre and University of Lausanne, said:
“We are particularly excited about this work because it shows how very simple tests can help clinical practice by reaching a wider population, at a lower cost. We are happy that our findings clarify the link between our vision and hearing and their role in supporting memory (dys-)function; it becomes increasingly clear that how preserved our cognitive skills are as we age depends on how intact our senses are. This importantly extends our similar existing findings in school-age children.”
Dr Alison Eardley, a psychologist at the University of Westminster (London, UK), explained the impetus for the study:
“The current tools used for assessing abnormal ageing are by no means unanimously supported or even sufficient on their own. Not a single existing assessment instrument currently provides an unequivocal diagnosis. The choice of the primary diagnostic tool itself continues to be a topic of a heated debate.”
Dr Trudi Edginton, a cognitive neuroscientist and clinical psychologist at City, University of London (London, UK), said:
“Our findings open the exciting possibility that a simple perceptual task could be a valuable complementary screening and assessment tool for MCI. However, the test we introduced should not yet be considered as a substitute or replacement for tests currently used in clinical practice.
The team is now designing new ways to validate this new screening tool and exploring the role of neurotransmitter systems in age-related and pathological changes in sensory and cognitive functions to inform early diagnosis and potential treatment options.”
The Latest on: Mild Cognitive Impairment
via Google News
The Latest on: Mild Cognitive Impairment
- Few would see doctor if they experienced mild cognitive impairmenton November 27, 2020 at 6:34 am
Only 3% of people aged 55 and over would see their GP if they experienced memory loss, forgetfulness or a decline in their ability to make decisions, all of which are potential signs of a mild ...
- Anxiety 'speeds up the onset of Alzheimer's' in people already suffering with cognitive declineon November 24, 2020 at 4:46 am
Medical University of South Carolina researchers obtained MRI scans for 339 patients with an average age of 72 and diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment.
- They had coronavirus. Now they’re showing up at memory clinics with serious cognitive losson November 24, 2020 at 4:30 am
A worrisome number of people recovering from coronavirus are experiencing significant cognitive impairment — the kind more typically seen in someone who is at risk for dementia.
- Fungi in digestive system associated with cognitive impairment can be reduced through ketogenic dieton November 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm
Specific fungi in the gut-associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and found in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can be altered in a beneficial manner by eating a modified ...
- Study: Bilingualism May Protect Against Cognitive Declineon November 20, 2020 at 1:39 pm
Actively speaking multiple languages can help protect against cognitive decline, according to research published in Neuropsychologia. Languages not only allow us to communicate with others, but also ...
- Actively speaking two languages protects against cognitive declineon November 18, 2020 at 10:25 pm
... mechanism whereby bilingualism contributes to cognitive reserve with regard to mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's, and if there were differences regarding the benefit it confers ...
- Most Britons fail to recognise the symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment, poll findson November 17, 2020 at 2:34 am
The research was carried out by Nestlé Health Science, which has created a specialised ketogenic drink that is the first effective nutritional intervention for the condition, signalling a major ...
- MCI911.com posts seven supplements which may aid mild cognitive impairment, says Dr. Leslie Norins, CEOon November 17, 2020 at 1:05 am
Information on seven available supplements which may improve mild cognitive impairment (MCI) has been posted on the new website, ...
- Actively speaking two languages protects against cognitive decline, say researcherson November 17, 2020 at 12:00 am
Having command of more than one language is enriching and offers people a doorway to other cultures, according to a new study which found that using l ...
via Bing News