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Scientists create 'rapid dementia screening test'

Scientists create 'rapid dementia screening test'
19th November 2008

Scientists in the US say they have devised a new quick screening method to test individuals for early signs of dementia.

The researchers state that the three-minute test could accurately identify whether an individual is showing mild cognitive impairment , which is often the earliest stage of Alzheimer's disease.

In a study to assess the effectiveness of the test, it was found to accurately diagnose either cognitive normality, dementia or mild cognitive impairment in 83 per cent of cases.

Lead study investigator James Lah said such a test is "key" in helping Alzheimer's patients maintain a "good quality of life for as long as possible", given that currently available medicines only delay the onset of symptoms rather than reverse them.

Commenting on the team's findings in the test, he added: "While this may not seem overly impressive, it is quite remarkable for a three-minute investment."

Last week, another team of American scientists revealed they had found a way to detect early-stage Alzheimer's, before even a patient is showing any symptoms.

The researchers used what is known as Pittsburgh Compound B in brain scans, which was able to highlight plaque deposits.

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