The Duration Of Word Processing Might Foretell Onset Of Alzheimer’s
In a new study, a group of researchers from the University of California, Davis, and the University of Kent found that the time taken by an individual to process the written words can serve as a dependable forecaster of their possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study was intended at with mild cognitive impairment patients, wherein they develop minor but visible cognitive and memory problems.
Even though memory-associated problems in MCI patients are not as severe as those in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, a majority of individuals with MCI do progress to develop this type of dementia. Indeed, the National Institute on Aging estimates that 8 in 10 individuals with MCI are analyzed with Alzheimer’s disease in 7 Years of their diagnosis of MCI. But what happens in the brain between being analyzed with MCI and being analyzed with Alzheimer’s?
This is what exactly the researchers attempted to sort in this study. Dr. Ali Mazaheri, the Lead Author, explained, “An outstanding trait of Alzheimer’s is a gradual turn down in language; nevertheless, the capability to process language in the phase between the emergence of early indications of Alzheimer’s to its complete progression has barely been explored previously.”
He continued, “We wanted to scrutinize if there were abnormalities in the activity of the brain during language processing in patients with MCI that could endow with insight into their possibility of developing Alzheimer’s. We concentrated on language functioning as it is an essential feature of cognition and predominantly influenced during the progressive phases of Alzheimer’s.”
In the present study, EEG was used by Dr Mazaheri and team to study the activity of the brain in 25 volunteers while words were shown to them on a computer screen. The study group comprised of elders analyzed with MCI, healthy seniors, and MCI patients who had obtained an Alzheimer’s analysis within 3 Years of being analyzed with MCI.
Dr Katrien Segaert, Co-author of the study, summing up the results, mentioned, “Remarkably, [we found] that this response of brain is unusual in people who will progress in the future to have Alzheimer’s disease, however integral in individuals who remained steady. It is likely that this collapse of the brain network linked to language understanding in MCI patients can be a decisive biomarker utilized to recognize patients prone to develop Alzheimer’s disease.”
She continued, “The corroboration of this biomarker can result in an approach to early pharmacological intervention and the advance of a new noninvasive and inexpensive test using EEG as an element of a regular medical assessment when a patient first visits their GP with apprehension over memory issues.”