University College London spearheaded a study to predict the likelihood of dementia before the visibility of the symptoms and they seemed to have found some success. The study involved conducting a neck scan of the participants and monitoring the changes over the ensuing decade and a half to arrive at conclusions. About 3,191 individuals formed the participants of the study.
The scan examined the blood vessels of the neck region and focused on the intensity of the pulses transmitted to the brain. Greater the intensity greater was the possibility of damage to the brain’s small vessels, a network of blood vessels and occurrence of minor bleeds. The cognitive ability of the participants was constantly evaluated for the ensuing fifteen years.
The results of the study indicated that those with maximum pulse intensity at the start of the study stood a greater chance (about 50% plus) of experiencing cognitive decline as against the other participants. However, though cognitive decline was one of the indicative symptoms of the disease, it did not always result in causing dementia in the affected individual.
The global team of experts who conducted the study stated that this was a newer means of predicting the risk of occurrence of the disease and could help in early intervention. Facts have proved that if one wanted to prevent dementia one had to exercise regularly, follow a healthy diet, avoid smoking and ensure a healthy heart and controlled blood pressure. Dementia manifests in full form only after years of slow damage to the brain and hence any early intervention measures by individuals facing greater risk could be very helpful.
The study, however, failed to reveal the participants who were affected by dementia in the course of the period.
The next step as stated by the researchers would be using MRI scans to test if they prove more effective in predicting the already existing dementia risk scores.