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Touch-screen test could play role in diagnosis of dementia

Published 7 September 2011

British company Cambridge Cognition has today announced that it is planning to trial a computerised memory test in GP surgeries.

The touch screen test - CANTAB - which involves a visual memory test will be trialled by a UK GP Commissioning Board. It will be made available to people aged over 50 who either self-refer to their family doctor, or who are advised to do so by a carer, with suspected Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's Society comment:

'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.

This tool could help change this appalling picture. However, it is too early to tell if it will prove to be a useable, effective and accurate tool for GPs. We must now wait for the results of the trials to see if it could fit into the wider diagnostic process.'

Dr Anne Corbett
Research Manager
Alzheimer's Society