Healthcare

New test detects memory problems with 99.9% accuracy

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Australian researchers have created a new tool that could help people catch memory problems early on.

The test, called McCusker Subjective Cognitive Impairment Inventory (McSCI), was developed by Professor Hamid Sohrabi and his team at Murdoch University.

McSCI is a 46-item, self-report questionnaire that evaluates concerns across six cognitive domains: memory, language, orientation, attention and concentration, visuoconstruction abilities, and executive function. It can be used at no cost by clinicians and researchers.

It can identify individuals with moderate to severe levels of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) with 99.9% accuracy.

Professor Sohrabi hopes that using the McSCI will become commonplace for early dementia screening. “This tool is particularly useful for detecting cognitive decline related to neurodegenerative processes, such as the preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Professor Ralph Martins said this is important because treating Alzheimer’s works best when caught early.

Right now, over 421,000 Australians have dementia, and this number is expected to reach 1 million by 2050. Tools like McSCI can help many people get help sooner.

“Imagine if you could predict your risk for dementia well before it takes hold, and you could start treatment and stop the disease from progressing?” said Professor Sohrabi. “The McSCI makes the first step of such prediction possible which will result in savings in time, money and health system resources.”

Related: Death report reveals huge toll of dementia in Australia

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