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Monday, October 08, 2007

Alzheimer's Disease: Can Computers Provide Early Warning?

(Image Credit: NexSig)

With Alzheimer's disease affecting many adults over the age of sixty, researchers have been struggling to develop a way to detect this disease early on.

Despite the best efforts of doctors, many patients discover they have the disease when certain treatments for it are already too little, too late.

Now it looks as if a new software program developed by Israelis may help doctors determine whether or not their patients suffer from Alzheimer's disease early on, helping to give patients a fighting chance.

(Israel 21st Century) NexSig's neuropsychological software, NexAde, does not require any human intervention. Patients sit down in front of a computer and go through a 20-40 minute program of validated neuropsychological tests, such as color and shape matching and memory tests, which have been used by doctors for decades.

The software is designed to enable elderly people with no computer experience to undergo the cognitive tests without a test administrator being present. The early detection test adapts itself to the person using it and studies not just the responses, but also the subject's pattern of behavior - such as mistakes or hesitations - measuring and analyzing in real-time biometric signals. The results are then sent to NexSig for analysis.

Instead of researchers having various reports from different doctors with different styles in an attempt to diagnose the same disease, NexSig will provide a standard evaluation that will be fairly consistent.

NexSig's innovative software will not only help doctors better examine their patients, but will hopefully save them time as well.

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