Alzheimer’s disease is a disease in which the brain’s neurons slowly become damaged, causing cognitive issues like memory loss, loss of social behaviors, and loss of language. Many people with Alzheimer’s end up not being able to recognize their loved ones. Eventually, the disease is fatal.

The current diagnostic tools we have for Alzheimer’s disease often fall short. Let’s look at how Alzheimer’s is currently diagnosed and how the creation of early diagnosis tools can change the entire landscape of Alzheimer’s disease for both patients and hospitals.

Current Alzheimer’s Diagnostic Tools

Our current Alzheimer’s diagnostic tools can often fall short in terms of helping patients get an accurate and early diagnosis. Patients may also find the cost a significant barrier, as many patients in the United States often find themselves either uninsured or using insurance that won’t cover expensive doctor’s visits and brain tests.

Cognitive Tests

Doctors often rely on memory tests, problem-solving, language, counting, and attention to help diagnose a patient with Alzheimer’s. Psychiatric evaluations are often conducted to determine whether or not the patient is suffering from another mental health issue that can affect their symptoms.

Talk With Friends and Family

Doctors also rely on talking with friends or family members about the symptoms that the patient may be experiencing, which aren’t always the most reliable assessments of diagnosis. Doctors will ask questions about the patient’s health and any use of medications, past medical problems, and any changes in their day-to-day behavior or personality.

Brain Scans

Finally, brain scans are one of the most reliable tools for doctors’ diagnoses. Doctors will often use CT, MRI, and PET scans to either support their Alzheimer’s diagnosis or to rule out any other issues in the brain. This is because these brain scans are often expensive and challenging for patients to endure.

The Problem

These current diagnostic tools can be time-consuming and, in some cases, very expensive for both the patient and the hospital. It can take up to five hours for a patient to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the cost can reach upwards of $10,000. Globally, the cost of Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to be over $250 billion.

As of right now, there are anywhere from 50% to 80% of Alzheimer’s patients who remain undiagnosed. The pitfalls and barriers to diagnosis are causing a crisis when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Need for Early Diagnosis

When patients look to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it’s because the cognitive decline has already occurred. Changes to the brain can begin occurring in Alzheimer’s disease up to 15 years before the first cognitive signs start, making the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s an incredibly late one. 

Early diagnosis is critically needed in the field of Alzheimer’s. 90% of elderly populations are looking to receive an early diagnosis. Currently, over one million potential Alzheimer’s patients are waiting to be screened for the disease to participate in research programs. 

Early diagnosis is the key to prevention. Preventative measures can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment by 30%. The use of preventive measures can prevent 40% of dementia. Not to mention the savings that hospitals and patients would experience from early diagnosis.

Currently, our existing methods of diagnosis aren’t capable of detecting important biomarkers that occur with Alzheimer’s disease before the cognitive symptoms begin to appear.

The Cognes Solution

Cognes is the answer to the desperate need for early Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. This tool is cost-effective for both patients and the hospital, opening up a greater pool of patients seeking a diagnosis.

Using a smartphone app, Cognes uses facial recognition and images, along with cognitive assessments, to detect early dementia in a way that our current diagnostic measures cannot do. A wealth of information is observable in the face and head that can pinpoint early dementia as it develops in the brain before severe cognitive impairment occurs.

Cognes combines data within images that show brain atrophy with cognitive assessment data, which is then analyzed by an AI engine. This technology has been tested in a study from early 2020 that used over 1,300 subjects and has been found feasible for early Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The benefits of Cognes don’t just stop with diagnosis. Doctors and hospitals can easily implement Cognes into their workflow, allowing patients to screen themselves through their app at home. This will enable patients to test themselves remotely, while doctors and hospitals can continue their day-to-day operations and reduce visits. 

Running expensive diagnostic tests can put a financial burden on both the hospital and the patient. With Cognes, these tests will no longer be the go-to diagnostic tool, as patients will be able to test themselves at home with nothing more than a smartphone with a camera. 

Conclusion

Our current Alzheimer’s diagnostic tools often fall short when it comes to early diagnosis. Patients for whom cost is a barrier are left behind, while other patients don’t receive a diagnosis until a mild or significant cognitive decline has occurred. Alzheimer’s disease costs patients and hospitals hundreds of billions of dollars every single year worldwide.

Cognes is the solution that many hospitals and patients are looking for. With the use of AI engines and technology that analyzes the facial images of potential Alzheimer’s patients, Cognes can pinpoint the signs of early dementia. 

Early diagnosis helps patients and hospitals. The cost-efficiency of Cognes allows more patients to get help while allowing hospitals to forgo lengthy and expensive brain scans and tests. Cognes also fits into the hospital’s workflow by enabling patients to test in the comfort of their own homes with their smartphones. 

Alzheimer’s disease relies on prevention to help patients, and prevention depends on early diagnosis. Cognes is the solution to the Alzheimer’s problem.