Archive for March, 2010

  • News
  • March 31st, 2010

Knoxville News Sentinel – Detecting Dementia

Front page article in the Knoxville News Sentinel – Test developed by UT doc and his son screens for Alzheimer’s March 31, 2010

  • News
  • March 29th, 2010

Latest News Links for Computerized Self Test

Here is the latest list of sites featuring articles on the Computerized Self Test, or, the ALZselftest.com:

On PubMed.gov

From Science Daily

New Article on Computerized Self Test from Medscape

From The Behavioral Medicine Report

From WATE.com

  • News
  • March 19th, 2010

New Online Test May Help Detect Alzheimer’s Sooner

From WATE News in Knoxville, TN.  Get the whole story here.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A new online test developed in Knoxville may help with earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease.

An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the latest studies show up to 60 percent go undiagnosed until it’s too late to do much about it.

It’s a progressive and fatal disease of the brain that destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.

The simple, interactive test is posted on the Web sitealzselftest.com. It only takes 10 minutes and costs just under $20.

Your answers reveal important information about your mental functions.

The test is a sort of fitness test for the brain. It starts with questions like what year is it? What month? What week?

Then the questions progress to dig deeper into what’s going on in your brain.

At UT Medical Center’s Cole Neuroscience Center, researcher Rex Cannon, with UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty with the, UT Graduate School of Medicine, developed the test to get more people diagnosed in time to make a difference in their quality of life.

“It’s so important, if not critical, for people to come early for evaluation. That’s why we’ve been so interested in developing this test that people can access online. Or if they’re not computer literate a loved one, family member, can help them with the computer interface,” Dr. Dougherty says.

“Nobody is really afraid of the test and I think that’s important they don’t feel alienated, kind of comfortable taking it. It speaks to the patient with verbal instructions so that’s important,” Cannon says.

After you take the test, if you show early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, you can take the results to your doctor.

Alzheimer’s ABC’s: Cognitive Changes II (Apathy, Delusion)

Cognitive Changes in AD: Apathy and Delusion

In the last post we considered the cognitive change of depression, and how it can affect those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as some tips to help discern between pure depression and AD.

Today we’ll consider other cognitive change often seen along with AD – apathy and delusion.

Some AD patients develop frustration, agitation or combativeness, which can be extremely difficult to treat and manage (if you are a caregiver for an AD patient with these symptoms, you are all too aware of the strain this can create). Sometimes change in personality with agitated features can be an early manifestation of AD so pay close attention to this. Read More

  • News
  • March 3rd, 2010

New Alzheimer’s Test Offers Better Opportunities for Early Detection

KNOXVILLE – Early detection is key to more effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive impairment, and new research shows that a test developed by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is more than 95 percent effective in detecting cognitive abnormalities associated with these diseases.

The test, called CST — for computerized self test – was designed to be both effective and relatively simple for medical professionals to administer and for patients to take.

Rex Cannon, an assistant professor of psychology at UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty, an associate professor in the UT Graduate School of Medicine, worked with a team of researchers to develop CST. The impetus for the test came from data showing that 60 percent of Alzheimer’s cases are not diagnosed in the primary care setting, and that those delays lead to missed treatment opportunities.

“Early detection is at the forefront of the clinical effort in Alzheimer’s research, and application of instruments like CST in the primary care setting is of extreme importance,” said Cannon.

The CST is a brief, interactive online test that works to asses various impairments in functional cognitive domains – in essence, it’s a fitness test of sorts for the basic functions of thinking and processing information that are affected by Alzheimers and milder forms of cognitive impairment.

Cannon and Dougherty’s research, published in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, showed that the CST was substantially more effective and more accurate in detecting the presence of Alzheimer and other forms of cognitive impairment in patients than other existing tests. The CST had a 96 percent accuracy rate compared to 71 percent and 69 percent for the tests that are currently in use.

Part of the goal in developing the test, according to Cannon, was to ensure that the test is useful in the primary care setting, where physicians may not have detailed training in recognizing cognitive impairments, but where an early diagnosis may do the most good for patients.

“Computerized testing is a developing and exciting area for research,” said Cannon, who noted that the test can provide an objective way to determine what diseases may affect the patient and provide information to begin treatments that can blunt the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Cannon and Dougherty, who are also affiliated with the Cole Neuroscience Institute at the UT Medical Center, collaborated with Medical Interactive Education in developing the CST over the past two years.

The journal article is titled “The Computerized Self Test (CST): An Interactive, Internet Accessible Cognitive Screening Test For Dementia,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 20 (1) and The test can be found at www.alzselftest.com.