One in three people over 65 will die with dementia -- with 750,000 people in the United Kingdom suffering from some form of dementia and more than half with Alzheimer's Disease, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
The British company Cambridge Cognition has today announced that it is planning a computerised memory test in GP surgeries across the UK. The touch screen test, CANTAB, involves a visual memory test will be trialled by a UK GP commissioning board.
Primary Care Trusts across the United Kingdom are set to trial a straight forward iPad test which distinguishes between patient's forgetfulness and serious memory lapses that signal the first signs of dementia according to the Metro.
"A shocking 60 per cent of people with dementia never receive a diagnosis. This means hundreds of thousands of people do not have access to vital help, support and treatments that could help them live a good quality life and plan for the future. Finding ways of improving the early identification of the condition is therefore essential," the Alzheimer's Trust said.
The Paired Associates Leaning (PAL) is a visual learning test which is independent of language. It can be used on iPads and other mobile devices. PAL's memory tests are based on the recollection of patterns and places rather than words. Dr Andrew Blackwell, chief scientific officer for Cambridge Cognition has said the system will save GP's time and believes it can be integrated into electronic health records.
The test itself asks patients to recall the location on the iPad screen of different symbols that flash up quickly. The test gets gradually harder where one symbol was asked to be identified; the patient must recall where all six symbols are.