A recently developed two-minute EEG test effectively picks up on early memory impairments associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Flick through the image gallery on your phone or fast forward through a previously watched movie, and notice how the briefly presented images trigger thoughts and memories. This passive visual memory system has been the basis for the design of a brainwave test that may help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s & EEG Brain Wave Testing

An EEG is used to measure brain activity while a patient views a series of images of everyday objects on a computer screen. The patient then watches a stream of different images, periodically interspersed with one of the images they saw initially. The images are presented on the screen at a rate of three images per second.

The pictures patients were shown first appear as every fifth image as the test progresses. If the person remembers the image, the EEG readout shows a distinct neural response, and another one five images later, and so on. By looking at the EEG signals for activity at this specific frequency (0.6Hz), we can measure the strength of a person’s memory response to previously seen images.

The beauty of this test is that it measures memory passively and objectively. People don’t provide any response and don’t even need to understand the task. They simply watch a series of pictures while wearing an EEG cap.

Quick & Non-Invasive Testing for Dementia

The EEG procedure takes about 2 minutes. The short time makes the test ideal for use with people with cognitive impairment who can’t follow complex task instructions.

By the time a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease – which is the most common form of dementia – they have usually had the disease for years. Diagnosis is not occurring early enough–sometimes a person will have had Alzheimer’s for 20 years before it is diagnosed!

Alzheimer’s is diagnosed using a combination of reports of memory decline from the patient and their family or carers, often involving tests administered in a clinic. These tests aren’t ideal because the patient’s anxiety can interfere with the result. They also require the person to be able to speak and write, which makes them ineffective for some people.

Neurofeedback Therapy at NHA

Here at Neurohealth Associates, we specialize in Neurofeedback therapy. Neurofeedback may be helpful for training your mind, especially if you are unsure about putting yourself or your child on medication. This easy, noninvasive therapy can painlessly improve your mental health condition and outlook on life. Schedule a consultation with NeuroHealth Associates today and find out how we can help you.

Originally published by Neuroscience News with data from The Conversation

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