New Brain Test to Monitor Alzheimer's Disease

Newswise — 'Brain Fingerprinting' is the patented technology that can measure objectively, for the first time, how memory and cognitive functioning of Alzheimer sufferers are affected by medications. First generation tests have proven to be more accurate than other routinely used tests, and could be commercially available in 18-24 months.

The 30 minute test involves wearing a headband with built-in electrodes; technicians then present words, phrases and images that are both known and unknown to the patient to determine whether information that should be in the brain is still there. When presented with familiar information, the brain responds by producing MERMERs, specific increases in neuron activity. The technician can use this response to measure how quickly information is disappearing from the brain and whether the drugs they are taking are slowing down the process.

Another potential application of the test is identifying trained terrorists before they strike. With the right questions, it is possible to detect records in the brain of crimes committed or in the planning or information specific to terrorist groups or gangs.

The test has been judged scientifically rigorous enough to be admissible in court. Already it has been used to trap a serial killer and free a man jailed for a crime he says he did not commit.

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