A simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer's disease in a person, even before there are any telltale behavioural signs of dementia, reveals a new study.
The researchers from York University asked the participants to complete four increasingly demanding visual-spatial and cognitive-motor tasks, on dual screen laptop computers. The test aimed at detecting the tendency for Alzheimer's in those who were having cognitive difficulty even though they were not showing outward signs of the disease.
Researcher Lauren Sergio said that they included a task which involved moving a computer mouse in the opposite direction of a visual target on the screen, requiring the person's brain to think before and during their hand movements, where they found the most pronounced difference between those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and family history group and the two control groups.
It was found that 81.8 percent of the participants that had a family history of Alzheimer's disease and those with MCI displayed difficulties on the most cognitively demanding visual motor task.
The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.