A new non-invasive and affordable test to detect Alzheimer’s has been developed. Scientists say that the simple test can detect electrical activity inside the brain and could anticipate the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in people.
Scientists at the University of Texas discovered a unique variation in the brain waves of the people who have amnestic mild cognitive impairment. These people are twice as likely to develop the Alzheimer’s disease in their specific age group.
These new discoveries reveal a delayed neural activity pattern that is linked directly to the seriousness of deterioration in the cognitive performance on a task regarding word finding and may reveal the early stages of the disease.
Damaged episodic memory, the capacity to retain new recollections like recent events, upcoming appointments and recent conversations are symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease. The new diagnostic method uses electroencephalogram technology which is a non-invasive and affordable approach to analyze the neural response while people in the test access long-term memory or semantic memory.
John Hart, director of Medical Science from the Centre for BrainHealth said that this is an intriguing beginning for looking at a number of MCI patients. The goal for this, long-term, is to apply this kind of method on individuals someday. The research revealed that people with aMCI performed much less accurately and a lot slower in the semantic memory exam than the control group.
When the scientists took into consideration the performance in the evaluation of episodic memory, they discovered that the worse the performance of the episodic memory was, the bigger the delayed activity was revealed in the EEG.
16 people with aMCI and 17 other healthy controls, matching the age of the patients were used in the study. The people were monitored with EEG and were given word pairs which described the features of some objects or were simply paired randomly. For instance, the words “desert” and “lumps” would have triggered the “camel” word. However, “monitor” and “humps” would have been regarded as a random pair.
The people in the study were then asked to show by the press of a button if the pair of words created the memory of an object or not. The lead author of the study, Hsueh-Sheng Chiang and previously a student at the Centre for BrainHealth and at the time a post-doctoral from the UT Southwestern Medical Centre said that many of the research regarding aMCI was focused more on the mind at rest. However, the new study focuses on looking at the brain while it’s involved in a process of object memory retrieval. Chiang added that this new method can give new information regarding the diagnosis of stages of pre-dementia, such as MCI and can identify the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
The new research was released in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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