Science has taken a big leap forward when it comes to learning more about dementia, with researchers creating what they believe to be a quiz that can flag one’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers from the University of Louisville have discovered that those who aren’t able to tell which shape is the odd one out in this picture could, in fact, be at greater risk of developing the brain disease in the future.
When conducting the (small) study, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in April, 57 participants were asked to identify the differences between four images of objects, faces, scenes, and the aforementioned purple "Greebles."
In each set, according to Dr. Oz, The Good Life, one image was slightly different from the rest. What the results uncovered is that those genetically at risk of Alzheimer’s typically got the same results as those who aren’t at risk when analyzing the images of objects, faces, and scenes. However, when it came to the Greeble comparison test, those most at risk scored lower than the others.
“Most people have never seen a Greeble, and Greebles are highly similar, so they are by far the toughest objects to differentiate,” said lead author of the study Dr. Emily Mason. “What we found is that, using this task, we were able to find a significant difference between the at-risk group and the control group.”
But what does this mean for those who may be predisposed to developing Alzheimer’s disease?
“Right now, by the time we can detect the disease, it would be very difficult to restore function because so much damage has been done to the brain,” Dr. Mason continued. “We want to be able to look at really early, really subtle changes that are going on in the brain. One way we can do that is with cognitive testing that is directed at a very specific area of the brain,” she said.
While this is a very small study to measure someone's risk of developing of Alzheimer's disease effectively, it does shine a spotlight on how identifying someone's could-be-dementia symptoms earlier on could, in the future, improve their quality of life.
This post was written by Ellie McDonald. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.