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March 26, 2019

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10 minute Alzheimer's test to spot disease in early stages

November 19, 2012

A 10 minute memory test that can detect Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in their early stages became available earlier this year. And can now be used by GP surgeries.

The test can distinguish between normal simple-forgetfulness and the more dangerous memory lapses and losses that can signal the onset of dementia. Earlier diagnosis would enable patients to receive early stage drug treatment and when it would help them the most, so they can carry on at work and live independently for longer.



The simple 10 minute test using a computer will screen patients for early signs of Alzheimer's.

Thanks to Barbara Sahakian at Cambridge University, who is the professor who helped develop the CANTABmobile test, said that to find and identify people before the brain became too badly damaged, the computer programme should be used to screen anyone over the age of 65 years.

Using a touch-screen computer, tablet or iPad, patients complete just 6 tasks so that they memorise the location of an object and then have to recall the position just a few second later. As also some questions on how well the patient manages in everyday life are also included, and designed to pick up and highlight those who may also be depressed, rather than dementia.

The quick test has been designed to identify memory lapses that occur in the very early onset of dementia. It produces all results within an instant, and can be administered by practice nurses or any other staff to enable GPs to continue their surgery time.

The patient’s score takes into account their age, sex and education and will determine if the patient should be referred to a specialist clinic for further diagnosis and treatment.

GPs who pay for a year’s subscription will be able to use the test on patients. For more information on this, please click on:


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