Neck scan detects early chances of dementia

January 14, 2019 0 By FM

Researchers from University College London (UCL) have found that a five-minute scan of blood vessels in the neck could predict the potential onset of dementia a decade before the appearance of any apparent symptoms. Led by Professor John Deanfield, the team of international researchers studied a group of 3,191 middle-aged volunteers who were given an ultrasound to measure the intensity of the pulse reaching their brain from the heart via the neck. Over the next 15 years, the participants were monitored for their memory and problem-solving ability. Participants whose blood reached their brain with the highest intensity (25%) at the beginning of the study showed 50% higher risk of developing cognitive decline over next decade compared to the rest of the participants. The research claims to reveal the first direct link between the heart’s pulse transmitted towards the brain and future impairments in cognitive function. The research suggests that adopting a healthy lifestyle controlling the blood pressure and cholesterol levels is the way to help stave off vascular dementia. The researchers proclaim that the scan could become a routine screening programme for people at risk of developing dementia once it is confirmed in larger studies.

University College London