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Merck Says Data Shows Cognigram as Sensitive Assessment

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Results from two new studies add to the body of evidence that supports Cognigram(TM) as a sensitive assessment to detect and monitor cognitive decline over time, namely in healthy individuals and adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that are carriers of a biological marker in the brain - Aβ amyloid.(1,2) Data from two studies were presented at the Canadian Conference on Dementia (CCD), in Vancouver, British Columbia, between October 3 and 5.

"This is a true advance in the way clinicians will be able to detect and monitor the progression of cognitive disorders in older people. It is the first time that a computerized cognitive assessment has been associated with levels of Aβ amyloid in the brain," says Dr. Paul Maruff, Chief Science Officer at Cogstate and one of the authors of the two studies. "Aβ amyloid is a biomarker that signifies abnormal proteins in the brain and provides important information to indicate that the Alzheimer's disease process has begun. In our studies presented at CCD, we underscore the sensitivity of Cognigram(TM) to efficiently assess over time (up to 36 months) the decline of cognitive function in people whose brains had been scanned and showed presence of high levels of this biomarker."

Amyloid and Cognition Aβ amyloid biomarkers provide important insights into the clinical course of cognition. Prospective studies in healthy older adults and adults with mild cognitive impairment have shown that high levels of Aβ amyloid are often associated with the decline of cognitive function and a more rapid progression to the next clinical disease stage.(1)

Cognition is the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. Some decrease in cognition is expected at older ages, but the decline is not uniform across all cognitive tasks or for all individuals. Impaired cognition can have health consequences, such as first stroke, falls, and institutionalization. It may reduce an individual's ability to communicate pain to health care providers, carry out instrumental activities of daily living, cope with chronic disease symptoms, perform self-care and adhere to medication instructions.( 3)

"Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are marked by a decline in overall cognition and function, having a profound impact on the daily life of patients and their caregivers," says Dr. Louis Verret, Neurologist and Researcher, Interdisciplinary Memory Clinic, Centre hospitalier universitaire (CHU) de Québec. "As these diseases continue to escalate at an alarming rate, research looking at Aβ amyloid in the brain and its relationship to changes in cognition is an exciting area that may contribute to therapeutic interventions aimed at modifying the course of Alzheimer's di

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