Knowledge is Power - A Case for Cognition-Based Screening

cognitive-based screeningKnowledge is power, and obtaining knowledge early can make it all the more powerful. In the case of dementia, early detection can mean early intervention and early protection, which is why researchers are now looking at cognition-based screening as a preemptive tool for staving off the effects of dementia.


But why the excitement over cognition-based screening when other methods already exist? Though other tests can detect dementia before symptoms surface, they can also be invasive, financially costly, and hard to access. Cognitive testing, in comparison, is a far easier route to take.


Curious about this potentially new option, researchers at the University of Southern California, as mentioned in an article by Science Daily, have put cognitive-based screening under the spotlight to ascertain whether it can, in fact, be used to determine a risk of developing dementia. The findings challenged the presumption that those with pre-clinical Alzheimer’s disease would perform similarly in cognitive tests as those without the condition. In fact, the opposite was found, as differences in cognitive performance were detected.


So if cognitive testing can be an effective alarm system in signaling that the brain’s defenses have been breached, making it vulnerable to neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, then regular testing of this kind for seniors may prove pivotal. Duke Han, PhD, associate professor of family medicine (clinical scholar) at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California who lead the study says, with early detection it could give people precious time to try different medications or interventions that may slow the progression of the disease early on.


Armed with the knowledge of how well our brain is functioning, we can then take the steps necessary to help prevent, limit and/or contain the effects of dementia. Knowledge is power after all, and our brain knows this best of all. 🙂


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