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Quiz 'detects Alzheimer's disease'


Alzheimer’s disease could be detected using a 15-minute online test, researchers have claimed.

The free interactive quiz has been designed to indicate early signs of the condition in 50 to 70-year-olds.

The test has been developed by mental health experts and is aimed at those who are worried about memory decline.

Once the test is completed, a result is provided immediately along with advice about lifestyle and diet changes.

Those who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease are given a letter for their GP.

Research shows that three in 10 over-70s have impaired memory, with 75% of these likely to develop Alzheimer’s or some form of dementia within five years.

Poor diet and a bad lifestyle have previously been linked to memory decline and the risk of Alzheimer’s.

Professor David Smith, of Oxford University, said: “Alzheimer’s is a preventable disease, not an inevitable part of the ageing process.

“Rather than leaving it until too late, the trick is to identify any decline in memory function as early as possible and take the necessary prevention steps.”

He added: “Only about one in a hundred cases of Alzheimer’s is caused by genes.

“As long as decline in memory function is identified early, research has shown that a combination of specific B vitamins, dietary and lifestyle changes, can greatly reduce the rate at which your brain shrinks, and your memory worsens.”

Over-50s with a raised blood level of homocysteine - a toxic amino acid - experience accelerated brain shrinkage, research has shown, and have poorer memories than people with less homocysteine.

But a diet rich in B vitamins greatly reduces the shrinkage.


Readers' comments (4)

  • here can it be found???? just t it as I work with the OPHMS.

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  • Martyn Butcher

    I'm afraid to say I think this is just a smokescreen. Despite what the Prof says, we still do not fully understand the causes of the various types of dementia and few effective treatments are available. True, some forms (such as vascular dementia) can be slowed by lifestyle and dietary changes but to date no treatment has been able to "cure" the condition. The early administration of cogitive enhancers can stabilise a number of individuals with the condition but there are significant funding issues in this approach and at present bodies such as NICE do not support the use of these drugs for individuals with the early symptoms of the disease.

    I also have a problem with the Prof's statement that dementia is a "preventable disease". Certain risks can be avoided, such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, elicit drug use, repeated head trauma (boxing etc) and certain activities can be encouraged but this only reduces the risk; it doesn't eliminate it.

    If someone asked me today "do you want a test to see if you have the early symptoms of dementia?" I would definately say "no thanks". Just think about it... health insurance, mortgages, bank loans, job progression, travel insurance, car insurance will all be affected, not to mention the pressure it would place on partners, family and friends.

    As it stands I would rather live each day as if it were my last, enjoy what time I have and carry on planning for the future in blissful ignorance.

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  • and the nice thing is, if you do the test annon and on line, and i does show some dementia, well you can just forget it again!

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  • been there, done that, pull the other one.

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