Researchers at the University of Cambridge are employing virtual reality (VR) technology to identify early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. They examined spatial navigation deficits in individuals predisposed to Alzheimer's by immersing them in virtual environments using VR headsets.

The study, encompassing approximately 100 asymptomatic adults aged 43 to 66, primarily identified navigation impairments in men. The primary objective is to devise a diagnostic tool for the NHS.

Led by Prof. Dennis Chan, the investigation utilized a test devised by Dr. Andrea Castegnaro and Prof. Neil Burgess from London's Global University. Dr. Coco Newton, the lead author, stressed the significance of timely diagnosis, particularly due to the advent of new treatments.

Jointly funded by the Alzheimer's Society and an MSD research grant, the findings were published in the ‘Alzheimer's and Dementia’ section of the Alzheimer's Association’s ‘Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.’ Dr Richard Oakley, from the Alzheimer's Society, underscored the importance of navigational abilities as early indicators of Alzheimer's.

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