Brain Test for the Over 55s Key to Avoiding Alzheimer'sPR Newswire - March 15, 2004
LONDON, Mar 15, 2004 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Top Neuroscience Research Centre Says Brain Tests Should Be Available to All - Before Qualifying for the State Pension
Memory tests should be introduced for everyone over the age of 55, in a bid to identify whether they are at risk of succumbing to Alzheimer's disease.
According to leading psychiatrist and international expert on memory, Professor Tonmoy Sharma, the problem with Alzheimer's is that by the time it is diagnosed it is almost too late. Damage to the brain has already been done and most of the drugs available at present simply slow down the progress of the disease for 1-2 years.
Prof. Sharma heads the Clinical Neuroscience Research Centre (CNRC) in Dartford, UK, currently carrying out studies on a specific type of memory loss called Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Researchers recently identified this as an alarm bell for the likely onset of Alzheimer's disease years later
People affected by MCI may have good thinking and reasoning skills, but their short-term memory is particularly bad and it is different from the memory loss normally associated with ageing.
In a week where new brain research is at the top of the international agenda - Brain Awareness Week * (15 - 21 March), Prof Sharma says: "a memory check for the public over the age of 55 is as important as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checks. It means people can take an active role in preserving their brain function."
CNRC uses state of the art software on a customised desktop and touch-screen to carry out these tests. Prof. Sharma hopes to see this kind of system - the Cogtest System *- in physicians practices country-wide in the near future.
"Knowing that you have a problem is the first step towards prevention. Drugs to stave off age-induced memory impairment are on the horizon. A number of these drugs are currently in clinical trials," adds Sharma.
* Cogtest plc has developed a state of the art software system that measures brain function - see www.cogtest.com
CONTACT: Linda Berkowitz, Direct: +44-1322-62-65-32 mobile:+44-7990-927-910, Email: email@example.com Sanchayita Goswami, Direct: +44-1322-62-03-32, mobile: +44-7900-673-340, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Prof. Sharma available for comment, pictures available
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