Saturday 20 July 2019
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Virtual reality can spot navigation problems in early Alzheimers disease

New research from the University of Cambridge has suggested that virtual reality (VR) can identify early Alzheimer’s disease more accurately than ‘gold standard’ cognitive tests currently in use.

The study highlights the potential of new technologies to help diagnose and monitor conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, which affects more than 525,000 people in the UK.

Dr Clare Walton, Alzheimer’s Society Research Communications Manager, said:

We have done much to improve diagnosis rates but still only two-thirds of the 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia have a diagnosis, so any progress we can make to more accurately and quickly detect who has the condition is very welcome.

'Cutting edge technology like virtual reality is changing the face of dementia research, and it’s exciting to see early signs in this study of the technology’s potential to identify people at risk of dementia. We look forward to seeing more research to test the accuracy of this technique, and to see if it can be used to identify dementia before symptoms appear.

We know changes in the brain can begin up to 15 years before any symptoms appear so identifying people at risk or with the condition as early as possible is vital. That’s why we’re funding research with this team to further explore the potential of virtual reality technology to understand the underlying changes seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.'