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Swiss technology to detect senile dementia

A researcher from HES-SO Valais-Wallis, together with colleagues from Lausanne and the United Kingdom, has developed an application to diagnose age-related cognitive impairment at home. It should soon be available on smartphone.

Building of HES-SO Valais Wallis with students
The latest innovation in the detection of senile dementia comes from HES-SO Valais-Wallis. © Etat du Valais | Céline Ribordy

Currently, diagnosing cognitive decline in the elderly requires lengthy neuropsychological assessments that are often imprecise. An international team of scientists based in Switzerland and the United Kingdom has developed a new tool to detect senile dementia with a laptop. Patients simply need to press a button whenever they see a flash of light or hear a sound. The application should soon be available on smartphone.

The research was published in Scientific Reports, a scientific journal published by the prestigious Nature Publishing Group. It is the result of a collaboration between researcher Paul Matusz of the HES-SO Valais-Wallis Institute for Computer Science and Micah Murray, associate professor at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and at the University of Lausanne (UNIL). The University of Westminster and City University of London were also involved.

“We are particularly excited about this research because it shows how very simple tests can help the clinical practice by reaching a larger population at a lower cost. We are pleased that our findings clarify the connection between our vision and hearing and their role in supporting memory (dys)function”, said professor Murray in a statement.

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