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Medicine Science

Technology To Detect Alzheimer's Takes SXSW Prize 81

Posted by samzenpus
from the catching-it-early dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Being able to diagnose people with Alzheimer's disease years before debilitating symptoms appear is now a step closer to reality. Researchers behind Neurotrack, the technology startup that took the first place health prize at this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) startup accelerator in Austin. The company says their new technology can diagnose Alzheimer's disease up to six years before symptoms appear with 100% accuracy."
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Technology To Detect Alzheimer's Takes SXSW Prize

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  • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @08:59AM (#43169991) Homepage

    I dunno.

    I think it's more like being told in 6 years you WILL have alzhiemers and there's nothing you can do about it. And, yes, the test is 100% accurate.

    Depressing.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @09:02AM (#43170019) Homepage Journal

    Drinking from Aluminum cans isn't going to expose you to Aluminum, at least not much. Instead it will expose you to plastics which strongly resemble sex hormones, because the cans are lined with plastic, and all plastic beverage containers leach toxics into their contents.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @10:34AM (#43170817)

    People with a degenerative disease are losing their mental faculties. It's happening slowly enough that people around them don't notice it immediately, but with time they become more confused and unaware of their surroundings. They become less and less capable of the basic things that get other people through life on a day by day basis. They might not be able to go to the toilet hygenically, they might forget how to cook, they forget where things are - but worse - they forget and become unaware that they even have a condition.

    The joke of old people always thinking nurses are stealing their things is a joke about dementia and shouldn't be a joke at all. From their perspective they put something down, or threw it out, and then later couldn't remember doing that and think it must've been stolen. You have people all around you all the time constantly managing you, but you don't remember who they are or why they're there at times.

    Research the cure? Really? Even if the person was an expert in neurological disease, in that state they would have no chance of remotely helping. You lose your agency and become a burden on your relatives yet are simultaneously likely to drive them away and their last memories of you are not going to be of the person you once were.

    The saddest thing, about Alzheimers and dementia and other conditions of their kind is that by the time you would definitely euthanize yourself, you're incapable of really giving informed consent about it at all. If I could have 6 years of warning that I would have Alzheimer's symptoms later, then the biggest problem would be that I couldn't take a time-delay poison that would kill me after 8 if I forgot to delay it.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:17PM (#43174123)

    I would welcome the advance notice. I'd like to have a chance to get my affairs in order and do a few things before I'm unable.

    Do those things now; you never know when your time is up.

    My wife was perfectly healthy until the day before Thanksgiving 2005 when, with only the complaint of a persistent headache, she was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor known as a Glioblastoma Multiforme [wikipedia.org] (GBM). She died in my arms just seven weeks later; we had been together for 20 years.

    While she was 61, I was 42 at that time. We both had Wills and our finances pretty well in order anyway, but now I have a more detailed Will, beneficiaries and/or transfer on death notices on my investments, copies of important paperwork in a firesafe at home, and a Living Will registered at U.S. Living Will Registry [uslivingwillregistry.com] that includes a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) - many hospitals can provide and submit the paperwork and having them do so will also cover the $5/year fee. I have also signed up with the Virginia State Anatomical Program [virginia.gov] to donate my body to science, like my wife asked me to do for her.

    We were lucky and I'm grateful for all our years and those last seven weeks together, including our last Thanksgiving, wedding anniversary, Christmas and New Year. (though, the Winter season suck for me now.) Many people aren't so lucky and the end comes very suddenly.

    Remember Sue... [tumblr.com]

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