Senses test could detect early warning signs of dementia

Senses test could detect early warning signs of dementia

A simple test of the senses could potentially indicate if a person is at serious risk of developing dementia, because this test could detect activity in the brain and memory loss.

According to scientific researchers at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology, eye tests could spot the early signs of dementia. This is because there is a link between poor cognitive ability and the thickness of retinal nerves. Additionally, the team of researchers discovered that a simple “scratch and sniff” test could identify early warning signs, and low scores on the smell test could indicate a higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

The findings in this research are very useful as it means that for those at risk of suffering from dementia, treatment could be put in place to slow down the disease and its symptoms: memory loss, problems thinking or reading, inappropriate social behaviour, problems balancing, and loss of communication skills.

Some scientists even suggest that the symptoms of early-onset dementia could be reversed. Through senses testing, treatment in the very early stages could save the patient from the more debilitating effects of the disease.

While scientific research into the prevention and cure of this illness continues, there are a number of ways to prevent or manage the disease. Tips such as completing puzzles, getting regular and restful sleep, minimising stress, and staying physically fit by exercising regularly are just some of the ways you can reduce your risk. Also, eating foods that boost brain power - such as oily fish, blueberries, tomatoes, broccoli and nuts - is highly beneficial.

While there isn’t a cure for dementia and Alzheimer's’ disease, for relatives and loved ones it means that there is a breakthrough because the effects of dementia can be devastating, and very difficult to deal with. There are plenty of services and support available for people whose relatives and loved ones have been affected by the disease. For patients affected and their relatives, it is so important to have a team of professionals and specialists involved in dementia care. Barchester Healthcare offers this to the highest standard by providing different types of care, and by making sure that its homes are well-staffed and comfortable. Also, there are a number of charities available that offer advice, support and guidance for patients and relatives, such as Dementia UK, the Alzheimer's Society and Age UK.