Is virtual reality the next frontier of Alzheimer's diagnosis?

Chiara Townley
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New research that aimed to highlight the potential of new technologies to diagnose disease has suggested that virtual reality may play a crucial role in monitoring Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia is a general term to describe the impairment of cognitive functions such as memory, thinking, and communication.

The cognitive decline associated with dementia is progressive, and people may go through different stages.

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an early stage of dementia, but some people with MCI do not develop Alzheimer's disease.

MCI can result from anxiety or normal aging, so it is important to establish the cause to evaluate the risk of dementia.

Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 50 million people in the world have dementia.

Doctors diagnose dementia in around 10 million people every year, and 60–70% of these new diagnoses detect Alzheimer's disease.

Several cognitive tests can assess dementia, but recently, researchers have been exploring the potential of new technologies to monitor the condition.

A new study from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom — the results of which now appear in the journal Brain — shows that virtual reality (VR) may be more accurate than standard tests.

VR headsets may soon serve as a better alternative to standard testing for Alzheimer's.
 

VR headsets may soon serve as a better alternative to standard testing for Alzheimer's.