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Friday 21st October 2016

Test to improve Alzheimer diagnosis

9th November 2009

Researchers from Edinburgh University have developed a multi-tasking test which can determine whether a patient is suffering from Alzheimer's disease or depression.


A person who has dementia in its early stages can exhibit signs of memory loss and problems with cognitive function.

These symptoms can often be misdiagnosed as depression and a patient with dementia can miss out on vital medication and care.

Around 700,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia and over 50% of that number have Alzheimer's disease.

The research team discovered that if they asked patients to carry out two tasks simultaneously, they were able to spot people with dementia more easily.

The study, which was funded by the Alzheimer's Society, looked at the abilities of 89 people with Alzheimer's disease, and compared them with depressed patients and people who did not have dementia.

They found that Alzheimer's sufferers fared "significantly worse" than people in the other two classifications.

Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said the new test could mean more people were diagnosed faster.

"Currently, up to two thirds of people with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis and it is often misdiagnosed as depression."

"An early diagnosis is hugely important as it may enable people with dementia to understand their condition, have access to certain drugs that could help relieve some of their symptoms and enable them to plan for their future long-term care needs," she added.


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Martha Lyons

Tuesday 10th November 2009 @ 15:52

I expected to see the "new test". Where is it.

Edward Hutchinson

Wednesday 11th November 2009 @ 14:29

Martha can find the test and instructions here

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