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Virtual reality will soon be able to help detect Alzheimer’s disease by asking patients to step into a computer-simulated world, research suggests.
Scientists believe they can better identify the disease its early stages using technology than with the current ‘gold standard’ cognitive tests currently used, The Times reported.
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They hope the findings could one day help them develop a smartphone app that could help diagnose the disorder at home.
Research from the University of Cambridge shows the new method can accurately distinguish Alzheimer’s in people with memory problems 90 per cent of the time.
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This compares with 55 per cent for the current pen-and-paper tests.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 500,000 Britons. Scientists still have not nailed down what causes it and a cure is yet to be found.
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The focus is on developing techniques which can catch the condition at an earlier stage. And the new method instead focuses on brain cells which act as our internal navigators.
The brain’s entorhinal cortex is crucial in helping understand the disease. It is one of the first to be damaged in Alzheimer’s, which may explain why patients seem disoriented at the first instance.
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The test involves the patient wearing a headset through which they spot a virtual reality world....
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