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News

Neuronetrix's Cognision brain scanning system selected to screen for Alzheimer's disease

Neuronetrix : 24 January, 2008  (New Product)
Neuronetrix's Cognision brain scanning system is to be used by researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging for an Alzheimer's screening clinical trial.
The study will involve brainwave assessments using a technology called event-related potentials (ERP's). The study is expected to validate the performance of the Cognision system and to demonstrate the system's applicability in a primary care setting. Up to 100 Alzheimer sufferers and controls will participate over the next six to12 months.

During the study patients will wear a sophisticated electronic headset that records brain activity in response to an auditory stimulus. The process is similar to hearing screening tests performed on newborn infants throughout the country. The data is then uploaded to an online database where a powerful pattern recognition engine will correlate the ERP tests with known brainwave patterns.

The Cognision test is expected to be the first approved Alzheimer's disease screening test that directly evaluates a patient's cognitive performance. 'We are not looking at a surrogate Biomarker which may or may not correlate with Alzheimer's. Instead, we are directly measuring the cognitive deficits caused by the disease,' says K C Fadem, co-founder of Neuronetrix.

It is generally believed that the drugs used to treat Alzheimer's, such as market leader Aricept from Pfizer, are most effective early in the disease process. Because of this, a national focus has been placed on the importance of Alzheimer's screening to determine optimum treatment paths in the early stage of the disease. At least one organization of medical experts, the AD Screening Discussion Group, has advocated that Alzheimer's disease screenings become a routine part of the application for Medicare.

The Sanders-Brown Center at the University of Kentucky is one of only 32 Alzheimer's Centers of Excellence in the country. Neuronetrix is planning a follow on study to evaluate the Cognision System on a commercial scale that will be performed at other Alzheimer's Centers of Excellence including the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.
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