A British company affiliated with the University of Cambridge, the Neurocognitive Science Corporation, has begun trials of a simple five-minute diagnostic test that can predict Alzheimer’s disease 15 years before it develops. James Medcalf, the company’s commercial director, says that the new test is very simple, as a person is subjected to the process of displaying images that show an animal or nothing at all, and the patient is asked to respond quickly by pressing one of two “yes” or “no” options.
“Because the test is based solely on instinctive responses, we don’t consciously learn how to perform it, so practice cannot improve a person’s outcome over time,” Medcalf added.But why is this reaction important in terms of predicting dementia risk? “In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, memory is not affected, but the brain’s processing speed begins to slow, and this is what the new test shows,” says Medcalf.
The company says the test is designed to work on screens like the iPad, and is so straightforward and straightforward that it plans to sell a model to anyone who wants to use it at home.