Detecting Early Stage Dementia with A Mind Game

Mental Fitness

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How many animals can you name in a minute?

UK scientists have apparently found a way to detect early-stage dementia. They asked 136 volunteers to name as many animals as they could within a minute. People with early Alzheimer’s named an average of 10 to 15 animals or fruits within the time allowed. Healthy adults, however, listed 20 to 25.

While the Alzheimer’s group thought of everyday words such as cat and apple, they left out others that aren’t used as often, such as zebra and kiwi. The pattern was so consistent that researchers correctly identified ill patients based solely on word lists. The potential payoff: Early detection may someday give scientists a better shot at slowing disease progression.

That last sentence is something to get excited about.

Make each moment count double,
~Joi

It goes without saying, of course, that if someone does rather poorly on this test, it doesn’t meant they’re doomed to dementia. Maybe they just can’t think of that many animals!

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