University of New Brunswick: New Computer Application to Determine Dementia Risk

Monday, May 14, 2018

Professor Sarah Pakzad, at the University of Moncton in New Brunswick, has developed a computer application that will help better predict the risk of dementia. By distinguishing the differences in one’s risk of developing dementia, those at higher risk will be able to take early preventative measures. As many memory problems can be symptoms of other disorders, such as anxiety or depression, it can be difficult to determine someone’s risk of developing dementia based on problems with memory alone. The computer application draws information from a database of over 25, 000 patients who are over the age of 50, and is more than 90% accurate. In addition to the computer application, Sarah Pakzad hopes to launch an app within the next year. During the creation of this application Pakzad interviewed 800 family physicians in New Brunswick. Through her interviews she found most doctors said they were ill-equipped to diagnose dementia and do not know how to proceed when people complain about memory and cognitive issues. Bruno Battistini, the CEO and scientific director of the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation stated “medical doctors don’t have, necessarily, the training … to do what we call cognitive assessments. This is a more specialized thing done by a geriatrician.” It will still be some time before the application will be available to doctors, but is a promising tool for the future.

SOURCE: The Star: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/29/new-app-could-help-doctors-take-the-guesswork-out-of-diagnosing-dementia.html
DATE RETRIEVED: May 10, 2018

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