Local experts develop model to evaluate Alzheimer’s disease risk

Local experts develop model to evaluate Alzheimer's disease risk
Local experts develop model to evaluate Alzheimer's disease risk

Ti Gong

A man is screened for Alzheimer’s disease at Renji Hospital.

Local medical experts have developed a normative range of metrics for a digital tool to evaluate people’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Doctors from Renji Hospital used MemTrax, a memory test and evaluation software, and the GAMLSS approach to successfully work out percentile curves to judge and forecast cognitive reduction for people of different ages and different educational backgrounds, as well as provide evidence for large screening and follow-up intervention and management.

The research, “Toward digitally screening and profiling AD: A GAMLSS approach of MemTrax in China,” was published by world-leading journal “Alzheimer’s & Dementia,” the hospital said on Thursday.

Through the research, which covered 26,633 people, experts found individuals within the third to 10th percentiles in the lower limit of the population performance for age could be at high risk of cognitive impairment. Such individuals should have cognitive checkups periodically or have follow-up assessment.

Individuals who performed below 3 percent of the lower limit of the population for their age might have cognitive impairment, so the recommendation was to have a clinical evaluation, followed by intervention if appropriate. If one’s percentile of cognition dropped steadily or significantly during follow-up tests, further clinical cognition evaluation was also recommended.

With its rising number of elderly people, China has become the country with the largest number of Alzheimer’s disease patients. At present, there are nearly 10 million patients, with that number expected to increase to nearly 30 million by 2030.

How to screen and identify people at high risk of the disease and offer timely intervention in early stages is very important for AD prevention and control. The simple and convenient digital tool is key to quick and large-scale screening, experts said.

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