MSU Researchers get $3.9 million to create app to detect Alzheimer’s disease

App could detect Alzheimer's disease
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 5:33 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University researchers are receiving 3.9 million dollars to develop an app that scans your voice to detect early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia.

“You can use the app and talk to the app for a few minutes then the app will analyze what’s going on in the language detecting those language markers and then trying to fit that into our prediction model and the prediction model will tell you in there is a risk of getting Alzheimer’s,” Associate Professor Jiayu Zhou said.

The app will ask you a series of questions to be able to analyze your voice and vocabulary.

Zhou gave an example of a question the app might have, saying, “Can you describe your best friend and what have you done with your best friend, what would you do during the holidays.”

Within a few minutes the app will tell you if you are low risk or high risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Zhou says if your results indicate you’re at a high risk,, its important to go see your doctor for treatment There are a couple of reasons, in the early phase there could be very good interventions and therapies available if u go to the later stage its typically too late, Zhou said.

“Knowing that you’re in early or mid-stages you still have the ability to work with your care partners to really put a plan in place,” Said President and CEO of Greater MI Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Jennifer Lepard.

Lepard says sometimes common symptoms of Alzheimer’s mean something else so that’s why early detection is good.

“The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease which can range from Memory loss, behavior exchange are not always related to Alzheimer’s disease, and sometimes getting diagnosed means finding out about something that is a treatable condition.”

Zhou says this app can really be life changing.

“We can potentially have faster pace to early therapy and then find a cure to Alzheimer’s. " The app will begin a preliminary phase and become available to people sometime next year.

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