It is estimated that with the increase in life expectancy, one of the biggest challenges in healthcare would be to cater to increased incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
An early detection of the condition allows timely medical intervention that aims to delay and manage the symptoms.
It is for this reason that scientists all over the world are aiming at findings ways and means to detect the debilitating condition at an early stage. Some success has been achieved in this matter lately.
In a remarkable medical achievement, researchers at the Faculty for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering of Rostock University and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Rostock have established a novel sensing algorithm that aids early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder.
For the purpose of the study, researchers analyzed 46 participants; 23 diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia and the rest of the 23 without the condition; i.e. healthy controls.
Low profile accelerometers were worn by the study participants during the normal course of the day. The gadget enabled the researchers to record spectral features of motion signals in these participants
The study researchers divulged that the method was extremely precise and managed to achieve an accurateness of 91 percent while categorizing participants as “AD” or “healthy control.”
“The method shows a substantially higher sensitivity than established behavioral rating scales, such as Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Index” noted Prof. Teipel, head of DZNE Rostock and the brain behind the study.
“This means, we now have a more sensitive instrument for detecting changes in behavior that allows us to monitor disease progress and the efficacy of interventions,” added Prof. Teipel.
The key advantage of the method is that it does not require human intervention. All that is required is a low-cost sensing device. Moreover people are not required to perform any specific tasks. The gadget will monitor the common behavior only.
Alzheimer’s disease causes significant changes in the temporal structure, leading to problems in carrying out everyday activities. The condition is characterized by impaired motion skills and problematic sleep-waking cycle.