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Brain training game can detect mild cognitive impairment

January 20, 2015
by Richard R. Rogoski
| Reprints

A virtual supermarket cognitive training game has been found effective in accurately diagnosing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) at virtually the same level as standardized neuropsychological tests.

Researchers at  Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), the Greek Association of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (GAADRD) and the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas/Information Technologies Institute (CERTH/ITI) discovered that by using a virtual supermarket application as a screening tool, they were able to achieve a correct classification rate of 87.30%.

The results of their study were published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Although virtual reality cognitive training games are largely used to help exercise the brains of seniors, the researchers believe their use as a screening tool for MCI could make the screening process more pleasurable and lead to more advanced methods of screening.

One such method—automated remote MCI screening—could monitor an older adult's performance in a cognitive game over time. An algorithm embedded in the computerized game would then signal if they are displaying any signs of cognitive impairment.


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