App-based data collection found to help detect dementia at the genetic level in new study | Top Vip News


NEW DELHI, April 3: In new research, data collected through a mobile app, including voice recordings and body movements, has been found to help researchers develop new tests to detect dementia.
They said the newly developed testing method is “comparable to standard methods” and could detect frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a common cause of dementia, at the genetic level before symptoms begin.
The smartphone app, developed by the researchers in collaboration with a software company, included tests of executive functions, such as planning and prioritization, filtering out distractions, and impulse control. Executive functioning is known to degrade as FTD progresses.
“We developed the ability to record speech while participants performed several different tests,” said first author Adam Staffaroni, a clinical neuropsychologist and associate professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), US.
“We also created tests of walking, balance and slow movements, as well as different aspects of language,” Staffaroni said.
The team said patients suffering from this condition are thought to respond best to early treatment, ideally before symptoms start to appear. Multiple variants of FTD are known to occur: one causes dramatic changes in personality, including apathy, impulsivity, and socially inappropriate behavior, another affects movement, and a third affects speech, language, and comprehension.
However, most patients are diagnosed “relatively late in the disease, because they are young and their symptoms are confused with psychiatric disorders,” according to Adam Boxer, a professor of memory and aging in the UCSF Department of Neurology and lead author of the study. study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open.
For the study, researchers tracked 360 participants with an average age of 54 enrolled in ongoing studies, about 90 percent of whom had app data on disease stage. These participants included those who did not have FTD or were gene carriers who did not present symptoms, those who showed early signs, and those who presented symptoms.
The team found that the tests were as sensitive as the clinical evaluations used to diagnose the disease.
“Over time, the app can be used to monitor treatment effects, replacing many or most in-person visits to clinical trial sites,” Staffaroni said.
While the team has no current plans to make the app public, they said such evaluations could pave the way for new trials of “promising” therapies. (PTI)

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