Colorado Scientists Claim ‘Fitbit For The Brain’ Can Detect Alzheimer’s Before Symptoms Start

By Shawn Patrick on August 30, 2023
Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images

Alzheimer’s disease destroys memory and other mental functions and it’s the most common form of dementia. The progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that affects more than 5-million people in the U.S. and it’s the sixth leading cause of death for adults in this country. While it can take several years to be diagnosed, scientists have created a headband they claim can detect signs of Alzheimer’s years before diagnosis.

Researchers with the University Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Washington University in St. Louis invented the headband, which has been dubbed a “Fitbit for the brain.” It contains tiny sensors that monitor brainwaves while the person sleeps, evaluating brain activity for signs of the initial phases of Alzheimer’s, which can happen long before dementia symptoms start. The headband is designed to detect changes in the part of the brain that handles memory reactivation.

Senior study author Brice McConnell explains, “This digital biomarker essentially enables any simple EEG headband device to be used as a fitness tracker for brain health.” While he says they’re “just scratching the surface with this work,” being able to use this technology in a home setting is a “huge advancement in catching and mitigating Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stages.”

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