UPDATE : Friday, July 10, 2020
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SMC develops drama that can diagnose dementia
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2018.10.22 11:53
  • Updated 2018.10.22 17:44
  • comments 0

Researchers at Samsung Medical Center (SMC) and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) have developed a short drama that can detect dementia at an early stage, the hospital said Monday.

A patient watches the seven-minute mini-drama developed by SMC to detect dementia at an earlier stage.

The joint team has developed a technique to diagnose dementia based on images that come from brain science. Professor Na Duck-ryul of SMC, Dr. Choi Ji-hyun at KIST, and Professor Kim Go-eun at Chonbuk National University Hospital led the researchers.

The drama is about a person who celebrates his birthday with six friends. Although the screen time is only seven minutes, the team precisely evaluated and optimized all elements such as character, background, props, accents and accents for individual cognitive function evaluation. SMC and KIST developed the drama with a 360-degree camera.

The subject wore head-mounted display devices so that they could feel like they were participating in the scene, according to a press release issued by SMC. After watching the mini-drama, doctors ask a series of questions related to what the patients have observed.

The new test method differs from previous ones as it focuses on how well the subject's cognitive function work in everyday life. Until now, most cognitive tests gave patients multiple words and made them memorize them within a limited time.

After the participants answered the questions, the team uses a machine-learning platform for statistical analysis.

The researchers tested the new method on 52 subjects, dividing them into those with subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. The test provided a sensitivity, which assesses the accuracy of the trial, of 93.8 to 95.1 percent,

“Such high sensitivity means that we could diagnose whether the subjects belong to the normal, hard cognitive impairment or dementia group by looking at the patients’ answers,” the press release said. “In particular, it may be possible to screen for amyloid-positive cases, which are more likely to be exacerbated by dementia, by further subdividing the mild cognitive impairment category.”

In such cases, the team expects that it will be able to prevent unnecessary tests as researchers can sort out those who require the nuclear medicine test (PET) for confirmation in advance, it added.

Professor Na said, “Existing tests unnecessarily increase the tension of patients and limit the ability to reflect the necessary cognitive ability in real life. Although there is no way to reverse dementia, there is an opportunity to delay the symptom."

The researchers hope that the new method will provide a basis for early diagnosis through simple and easy screening, he added.

Scientific Report published the result of the study.


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