New online test may help detect Alzheimer's disease sooner

New online test may help detect Alzheimer's disease sooner

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By LORI TUCKER
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A new online test developed in Knoxville may help with earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease.

An estimated 5 million people have Alzheimer's disease and the latest studies show up to 60 percent go undiagnosed until it's too late to do much about it.

It's a progressive and fatal disease of the brain that destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior.

The simple, interactive test is posted on the Web site alzselftest.com. It only takes 10 minutes and costs just under $20.

Your answers reveal important information about your mental functions.

The test is a sort of fitness test for the brain. It starts with questions like what year is it? What month? What week?

Then the questions progress to dig deeper into what's going on in your brain.

At UT Medical Center's Cole Neuroscience Center, researcher Rex Cannon, with UT Knoxville, and Dr. John Dougherty with the, UT Graduate School of Medicine, developed the test to get more people diagnosed in time to make a difference in their quality of life.

"It's so important, if not critical, for people to come early for evaluation. That's why we've been so interested in developing this test that people can access online. Or if they're not computer literate a loved one, family member, can help them with the computer interface," Dr. Dougherty says.

"Nobody is really afraid of the test and I think that's important they don't feel alienated, kind of comfortable taking it. It speaks to the patient with verbal instructions so that's important," Cannon says.

After you take the test, if you show early signs of Alzheimer's disease, you can take the results to your doctor.

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