`Fitness tracker for brain health` may warn you about Alzheimer`s: Study – WION

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It is a custom-made headband made by team from University of Colorado, University of Miami and Washington University


It is a custom-made headband made by team from University of Colorado, University of Miami and Washington University
Till now we don’t have cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and according to World Health Organization (WHO), contributed to 60-70 per cent of cases of dementia. WHO says that more than 55 million people in the world suffer from dementia worldwide.
There is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet but much efforts are being put into prevention or at least early detection of the disease.
Another addition to this approach against the disease is a “fitness tracker for brain health”.
It is a custom-made headband made by a team from University of Colorado, University of Miami and Washington University, reported ScienceAlert. The band repeatedly uses electroencephalography (EEG) to track brain wave patterns which may indicate early signs of dementia much before the disease begins to affect our behaviour.
“Demonstrating how we can assess digital biomarkers for early indications of disease using accessible and scalable headband devices in a home setting is a huge advancement in catching and mitigating Alzheimer’s disease at the earliest stages,” says clinical neurologist Brice McConnell from the University of Colorado.
The trials included 205 older adults. Researchers used the headbands to detect neural events like theta bursts, sleep spindles and slow waves. These are types of brain activity associated with how memories are processed during sleep.
A link between poor sleep quality and Alzheimer’s has already been seen by scientists but the exact nature has so far proven to be elusive. As of today, it is not fully clear how sleep has an influence Alzheimer’s progression and vice versa.
The team of researchers identified changes in neural pattern when a person sleeps. They focussed on patterns that could be related to build up of amyloid tau proteins that are typically found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. 
“What we found is these abnormal levels of proteins are related to sleep memory reactivations, which we could identify in people’s brainwave patterns before they experienced any symptoms,” says McConnell.
So will such headbands be widely available? There is some time for that as research is still going on over what exactly causes Alzheimer’s. But the day such headbands become easily available, it will truly be a great step. 
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