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Alzheimer’s disease could be detected in its earliest stage


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6 April 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

Alzheimers BrainAlzheimer’s disease could be detected in its earliest stage thanks to a low-cost behavioral assessment based on a memory test that correlates with hippocampal degradation. According to researchers changes in the progression of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can be detected by examining the information processing capacity.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a condition that affects language, memory and related metal functions and the only reliable way to diagnose MCI is through magnetic resonance imaging. The new test offers a much cheaper alternative to MRIs which can cost several hundreds of dollars an hour.

The test was given to five groups of participants: college students, healthy middle-aged adults, healthy elderly individuals, people with diagnosed cases of MCI and a control group of age-matched individuals without MCI. The researchers discovered a pronounced difference between the MCI group and all other groups and although the results are still preliminary, they are very encouraging.

Michael Wenger, associate professor of psychology at Penn State, and his collaborators at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine: Selamawit Negash, Ronald C. Peterson and Lyndsay Peterson, detail their findings in the current issue of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology.




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