Patients diagnosed with dementia are likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. There are a number of factors that play into the existence of the illness. Yet, the pattern that follows in every patient diagnosed with the disease is more or less the same. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness that begins with mild memory loss, leading to confusion and an inability to carry on with a conversation.

The disease attacks the part of the patient’s brain that controls language, memory, and thoughts, and thus the symptoms appearing in the patient are in these areas. Alzheimer’s disease can seriously strip one from going about their daily lives like a normal person.

People At Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

It is uncommon for young people to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As of 2023, 6.7 million Americans have been reported to have been diagnosed with with the disease. Many of the diagnosed are over the age of 50. According to studies, the risk of getting diagnosed with the illness increases as the person gets older.

Even though the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease start appearing in old age, research shows there may be other contributing factors other than age that can be the cause of it. Family history may be a cause for symptoms of Alzheimer’s illness in the coming generations. However, the disease can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It has also been found that changes in the brain can begin after years of the first few symptoms. 

Diagnosis Of Alzheimer’s Disease

Many doctors rely on laboratory and imaging tests to determine the diagnosis of any patient. However, a complete diagnosis with absolute certainty is said to be made only after the patient’s death. The findings from the microscopic examination reveal the plaques and tangles present in the patient’s brain that cannot be examined in their living state.

Several tests follow up to diagnose a person with Alzheimer’s. These tests include:

Physical and Neurological Exams

The doctor normally conducts physiological exams by testing the reflexes, muscle tone and strength, ability to get up from a chair and walk, sense of sight and hearing, coordination, and balance. 

Lab Tests

Lab tests are often conducted by specialists to rule out any other possible causes of memory loss, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiency.

Mental Status and Neuropsychological Testing

A mental status test may be given to patients to assess how they reacted to situations previously. Analyzing the present mental state of the patient can help determine the diagnosis as well as establish a starting point to track the symptoms.

Brain Imaging

Imaging of the brain structures includes:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI makes use of strong magnetic fields and radio waves to pass through the brain to obtain detailed images of the brain. The shrinkage of related regions is an indicator of dementia.
  • Computerized Tomography: A CT scan is a specialized X-ray technology that observes the cross-section area of a brain. It is used to rule out the presence of tumors, strokes, or head injuries. 
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET: The brain scan helps determine the areas of the brain that are poorly metabolized, making the presence of Alzheimer’s disease easier to detect.
  • Amyloid PET imaging: The presence of amyloid deposits in a large quantity can be an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease and can trigger dementia in many.
  • Tau PET imaging: Generally used in a research setting to measure the burden of neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

Cognes Non-invasive Diagnostic Test

Cognes is developing a self-administered and non-invasive Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic test via your smartphone app. It employs a cognitive assessment test that makes use of the novel Alzheimer’s disease insights obtained from computer vision.

Though the present diagnostic tests can determine if the patient has Alzheimer’s, certain loopholes may go unnoticed. Cognes is an efficient app that helps many people across the world detect early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The existing diagnostic methods are also not reliable enough to detect the early symptoms of the disease. This helps them manage the illness as soon as possible to avoid the irreversible damage done by Alzheimer’s later in life.

The efficacy of the diagnostic test is profound in a way that it only takes minutes before you get your results. Any standard Alzheimer’s disease diagnostic can take anywhere between 5-8 hours. The tests can also range well over $10,000, especially when imaging tests are involved. The Cognes app analyzes the facial images and cognitive assessment data to detect any early symptoms of dementia as well as the likelihood of them. The exterior features of the head give information regarding the presence of dementia characteristics.

The data is analyzed using an AI engine that progressively becomes more efficient at detecting any early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.  The technical feasibility has been confirmed in a pilot study conducted in 2020 with over 1300 subjects.

The MRI can identify the sulci-widening and narrowing gyri, which are interrelated with Alzheimer’s disease. Likewise, faces can be reconstructed from MRI images. The correlation between the changing facial features before and after the disease or similar features in patients with Alzheimer’s disease can be detected. Through this, the AI-driven app can easily locate and identify the facial features that indicate the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Conclusion

Several diagnostic methods exist for specialists to diagnose patients with dementia. Many of these tests are unfortunately not convenient for patients, considering how costly and uncomfortable they are. Cognes aims to provide efficient and convenient Alzheimer’s disease testing available to anyone so that the early stages of the illness may not go unnoticed. Cognes is a smartphone app that helps patients self-diagnose their possible dementia prognosis in less than 5 minutes. Image data indicative of brain atrophy and the progression of neurodegeneration combined with cognitive assessment data gives an accurate picture of where you stand in the diagnosis. The early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can help many across the world prevent further damage.