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How virtual reality can help diagnose early Alzheimer’s disease

An exciting new study from the University of Cambridge is demonstrating how a novel virtual reality navigation test can better predict which patients are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease compared to other currently used “gold standard” cognitive tests.

For some time researchers have known that one of the earliest parts of the brain to suffer from neurodegeneration related to Alzheimer’s disease is the entorhinal cortex, a region of the brain particularly involved in matters of spatial navigation. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is also often one of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease. However, MCI does not always lead to Alzheimer’s as it can just be a simple byproduct of aging, treated effectively with straightforward physical exercise.

The idea behind the development of this new VR-based diagnostic tool is that a navigation test could help distinguish which patients with MCI are more likely to progress into full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more at New Atlas