Dementia breakthrough as 5-minute test can diagnose early disease signs: 'Major milestone'

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    The Integrated Cognitive Assessment (ICA) test analyses responses to an array of audiovisual cues to screen for early signs of dementia. Developed by the UK health firm Cognetivity Neurosciences, the test has been approved this week for the US markets by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to Cognetivity, the test boasts a “high sensitivity” to early-stage cognitive impairment, which includes trouble with memory, concentration and learning.

    These are the most common early symptoms of dementia, according to the NHS, and are often accompanied by mood swings, confusion and trouble performing everyday tasks.

    Dr Sina Habibi, Cognetivity’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this major company milestone, which is the culmination of many years of hard work.

    “This grants us access to the world’s largest healthcare market, where, sadly, there is much more to be done to tackle the massive problem of dementia.

    “Of course, we’re excited about the opportunity to revolutionize the way cognitive impairment is assessed and managed in the US and make a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of Americans.”

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    The ICA has already been approved in Europe and has been rolled out across the UK as a CE-marked medical device.

    The test is being used in both primary and specialist clinical care by the NHS.

    It is estimated more than 850,000 people in the UK have dementia.

    One in 14 people over the age of 65 are affected by the disease and by 2025, the number of people with dementia is expected to hit one million.

    And though there is no known cure for dementia, early diagnosis can, in some cases, slow the disease from progressing.

    Scientists have warned the number of dementia cases worldwide is forecast to spike by 2050.

    Dementia cases forecast to skyrocket by 2050 – more than 152 million predicted to suffer

    According to a report published at the 2021 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), more than 152 million are expected to suffer from the disease.

    Dr Maria C. Carrillo, Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer, said: “Improvements in lifestyle in adults in developed countries and other places – including increasing access to education and greater attention to heart health issues – have reduced incidence in recent years, but total numbers with dementia are still going up because of the ageing of the population.

    “In addition, obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyles in younger people are rising quickly, and these are risk factors for dementia.”



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