UK-based researchers developed a quick easy way to diagnose early signs of dementia. The test involves using AI and different images to see if the patient is suffering from the disease. ( Alterio Felines | Pixabay )
A new dementia test is currently being piloted in the UK to detect the possibilities of detecting the symptoms of illness in five minutes.
The National Health Service is collaborating with a London-based high-tech medical firm, Cognetivity Ltd, to develop a "quick and easy" test that can identify initial symptoms of the disease. Patients are shown different images using an iPad and researchers then measure their responses.
While there is currently no cure for dementia, doctors believe that early diagnosis of the condition can help them to develop effective therapies.
5-Minute iPad Dementia Test
To check symptoms of dementia, doctors need to do a number of tests to measure patients' attention, concentration, language and memory skills.
However, the level of education of the subjects can sometimes affect the results and whether they have already undertaken some testing.
The new iPad-based test was designed to serve as a single diagnostic for early dementia detection. It makes accurate use of artificial intelligence to measure the function of the brain in people suffering.
Patients will be shown 100 different photographs using an iPad. Images will only be displayed on screen for a short time. Researchers will then ask participants whether or not a particular animal has been represented.
Some of the photographs will have an insight into animals, although they will not be too clear. Meanwhile, others will not show any animals at all.
The researchers will identify differences in how quickly the participants were able to respond and how accurate these responses were. They will use the data to detect potential irregularities in patients and will recommend therapies well before the entry into force of any memory loss.
Sina Habibi, CEO of Cognetivity, explained the concept behind a company's five-minute dementia test.
"Each image is different from the others in terms of its complexity and its surprising level," Habibi said. "We play with many mathematical characteristics of the image so that everyone is unique [set of] stimuli. "
Habibi made a personal attempt to develop a dementia test, which lost her grandmother to the illness.
Researchers hope that the iPad-based dementia test can help scientists gain new insights into the disease. This may be crucial in achieving effective cure for dementia.
Ongoing tests for the New-Based iPad Diagnostics
NHS South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust are trialling the new dementia test. This will be followed by more questionnaires in Devon, Sussex, and northeast London next month.
If the results of the test are positive, the iPad-based diagnostics could be rolled out to the rest of the UK by next year.
Carol Routledge, research director at Alzheimer's Research UK, noted how fast and easy the new dementia test can be done. She said that she focused on areas of the brain that were particularly affected by early Alzheimer's disease.
Routledge identified the potential of the diagnostics to recognize symptoms of illness before patients suffer thinking and memory problems.
She also discussed how AI techniques can be used to help improve the way doctors are able to detect dementia-related diseases, ensuring that patients are given timely and accurate assessment of their conditions.
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