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Brain Changes Detected Before Onset of Dementia Symptoms

Monday, May 15, 2017

A recent collaborative study from University of Toronto and the Baycrest Rotman Research Institute explored dementia diagnoses through brain imaging. The researchers were interested in seniors living without assistance that didn’t have any notable cognitive issues but whose memory test scores suggested that further testing for dementia was advisable. 40 adults meeting the aforementioned criteria and aged 59 – 81 performed the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) memory test and underwent MRI scans to quantify the volume of the brain as a whole, as well as the anterolateral entorhinal cortex (AEC) specifically (the area where Alzheimer’s disease originates). While whole-brain volume was not correlated with MoCA performance, a low volume of AEC was strongly associated with poorer scores on the MoCA. Researcher Morgan Barense stated that “this work is an important first step in determining a procedure to identify older adults living independently at home without memory complaints who are at risk for dementia. The MoCA is good at diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (a condition that is likely to develop into Alzheimer’s) and we are seeing that it may identify MCI in people who are not aware of a decline in their memory and thinking skills.”

SOURCE: University of Toronto: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/study-shows-dementia-related-brain-changes-are-identifiable-even-memory-or-thinking-problems

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Science Direct: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197458017301537

DATE RETRIEVED: May 11, 2017

Recruiting participants for new project

We’re researching how businesses can engage people with dementia meaningfully and respectfully in the design, testing, and commercialization of apps intended for their use. For this research, we’re looking for people living with dementia to use, test, and provide feedback on a digital memory aid currently being developed. Follow the link for more information.

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