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This Easy Test Could Predict If You'll Get Alzheimer's, Says Study

People with the disease tend to display a specific language pattern years before developing symptoms. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek
Woman in glasses writing in book sitting on sofa indoors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately five million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer's Disease, the most common form of dementia. (Crooner Tony Bennett is one of them, he revealed to AARP this week.) While memory loss is the obvious symptom, it can often be difficult differentiating the disease from the mild memory loss associated with aging. However, according to a new study published in The Lancet EclinicalMedicine, there is a test that can help identify early signs of Alzheimer's—years before the first symptoms arise. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

If You Write This Way, You May Develop Memory Loss Later in Life

IBM researchers analyzed data from 80 men and women in their 80s who were participants in the Framingham Heart Study. They were surprised to find that there is a specific language pattern common with those who are going to develop the disease. Older adults who were repetitive with words, made spelling errors, and missed words like "the," "is" and "are" while they were still cognitively normal were more likely to develop memory loss later in life. In fact, the artificial intelligence program they used predicted, with 75 percent accuracy, who would get it. 

"Our results demonstrate that it is possible to predict future onset of Alzheimer's disease using language samples obtained from cognitively normal individuals," researchers stated. 

"We had no prior assumption that word usage would show anything," Ajay Royyuru, vice president of health care and life sciences research at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., where the A.I. analysis was done, said.

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These are the Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Once the disease progresses, there are a variety of symptoms to look out for, as detailed on the CDC's website. 

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life, such as getting lost in a familiar place or repeating questions.
  • Trouble handling money and paying bills.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure.
  • Decreased or poor judgment.
  • Misplaces things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
  • Changes in mood, personality, or behavioral.

Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's, and treatment focuses mostly on improving the quality of life for those battling it by helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease. If you feel you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical care, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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