New Scientific Discovery Regarding Dementia

Hayley Royal, Scientist

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Scientists and researchers may have discovered a new exam to help predict an individual’s risk for developing dementia, the loss of cognitive reasoning that affects almost 5.7 million Americans. While this new test cannot report with certainty whether a patient will or not suffer from dementia later in life, it can indicate whether a person could be classified in an at risk category-ultimately leading to an earlier diagnosis following the onset of symptoms.

The new test was developed by researchers at University College London and involves a simple and painless ultrasound scan of the patient’s neck. The scan measure the intensity of a person’s pulse. A more intense pulsating rhythm can cause mini-strokes and eventually dementia symptoms- things like memory loss and mood changes. The study took place over a fourteen year period and monitored the participants’ cognitive function. The research indicates that, according to the results of the 3,191 people involved in the study, an individual with a more intense neck pulse is almost fifty percent more likely to suffer from cognitive loss later in life.

This test not only provides healthcare providers with a quick and inexpensive method to screen for potential cognitive loss in the future; it is also incredibly effective. This new test provides individuals with information on their risk status nearly ten years earlier than any other existing test.