Digital deck of cards could be just the trick for Alzheimer’s

The Australian-designed diagnostic tool has been used for more than a decade in clinical trials to detect cognitive change in participants but the technology has only recently been applied to the clinical practice setting.

The computerised test, commercially known as Cognigram and developed by Melbourne-based medical technology company Cogstate, measures psychomotor function, visual attention, working memory and visual learning.

Four tests – grouped for attention and reaction, learning and memory – provide a composite score allowing the research team, led by Dr Paul Maruff (PhD), chief science officer of Cogstate, to compare their test results with traditional hallmarks of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

A recently published study found the test, called the CogState Brief Battery, could consistently detect mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease over a four-month period.

Volunteers were recruited