Early Detection Of Alzheimer’s Now Possible, Ensures Effective Treatment

Developed by researchers at the University of Tennessee, this new computerized self-test (CST) shows promise in early detection of Alzheimer’s and therefore makes possible a more effective treatment to be available for patients.

This computerized self-test (CST) was developed by Rex Cannon and Dr John Dougherty, an associate professor in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, along with a team of researchers. This test comes in an interactive online format, making it more effective and simpler for patients to take and medical professionals to administer.

The driving force behind developing such a test was the data that suggested that almost 60 percent of Alzheimer’s cases go undiagnosed or are detected late, thereby limiting the possibility of treatment and effective management of the condition. This simple-to-administer computer test assesses various impairments in functional cognitive domains, i.e., it assesses basic functions of thinking and processing information that are affected by Alzheimer’s and milder forms of cognitive impairment.

The CST had a 96 per cent accuracy rate compared to 71 per cent and 69 per cent for the tests that are currently in use. Rex Cannon said, “Early detection is at the forefront of the clinical effort in Alzheimer’s research, and application of instruments like CST in the primary care setting is of extreme importance.”

Scientists are hoping that the test can provide an objective way to determine what diseases may affect the patient and provide information to begin treatments that can blunt the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Written by Snigdha Taduri