Are cell phones allowed in MIT Manipal

Press service

At the World Neurology Congress in Kyoto, Indian researchers presented a new rapid test for the ongoing monitoring of dementia patients. The reliable telephone interviews open up new possibilities for early detection, treatment and monitoring of Alzheimer's patients.

Kyoto, September 2017 - A phone call of only 15 minutes is sufficient to reliably differentiate mentally healthy people from patients with mild cognitive disorders and to differentiate mild forms of dementia from manifest Alzheimer's disease. That is the result of a comparative study from India, which was carried out on the XXIII. World Neurology Congress was presented. This major scientific event will take place in Kyoto from September 16-21. A new monitoring method that a team of Indian neurologists and psychologists had developed for follow-up examinations was examined.

Such ongoing follow-up examinations are particularly important in the case of neurological deficits - regardless of whether they are mild forms of cognitive disorders or pronounced Alzheimer's disease. Experts already have a wide range of test instruments with which the various forms of disease can not only be distinguished but also reliably determine the progression of the disease. However, such tests are expensive and can easily overwhelm health systems, especially in densely populated and less developed regions of the world.

In order to expand the range of such evaluation instruments, the Indian experts have developed a new type of test that can also be carried out in a short telephone conversation. The so-called FACT test (FACT = fifteen-minute assessment of cognition over the telephone) consists of 27 items with which the attention, orientation, memory performance, linguistic abilities and the ability to act of the respondents can be determined. "Our goal was to find out whether we could determine the presence of dementia in just 15 minutes in people who cannot come to the hospital on their own initiative," explains study author Dr. Ratnavalli Ellajosyula from Manipal Hospital in Bangalore.

To determine whether FACT is as reliable as established test procedures, the Indian scientists tested the questionnaire under study conditions. To this end, 22 patients with mild cognitive disorders, 20 more with Alzheimer's disease and 23 healthy participants who were matched by age and level of education were interviewed on the phone. The participating patients had been subjected to a tried and tested test procedure (Addenbrookes Cognitive Examination, ACE III) in the hospital one week before.

The presented results make the developers optimistic: "We were able to show that FACT is an efficient instrument comparable to ACE III for the detection of mild cognitive disorders and for the monitoring of Alzheimer's patients," said Dr. Ellajosyula. "This opens up new possibilities for everyday clinical practice and research in the area of ​​early intervention and for monitoring the progressive decline in cognitive abilities".

The researchers assume that FACT could be used as a screening tool in epidemiological studies in the future. “This could avoid the problem that people are uncooperative or not to be found in face-to-face interviews. In India, mobile phones are widespread in all sections of the population, ”said Dr. Ellajosyula. “FACT can also be used in a variety of ways: To diagnose mild cognitive impairments, to observe whether these are developing into Alzheimer's disease, to measure the progression of the disease and even to evaluate how patients respond to medication, for example in the context of a medication of a study. More studies are needed and we hope that the test will be used in other countries as well, especially in regions with few resources. "

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