Novel Alzheimer's Tests
MCPT and NVBMSE
Current clinical behavioral tests for Alzheimer’s are geared towards diagnostics and detection during earlier stages. The tests prove non-applicable for assessing later stages of Alzheimer’s and tracking subtle changes of disease progression or reversal. In undertaking this research where Alzheimer’s reversal seems a probable concept, having a test which may access areas of possible improvement would be essential. Finally, as many tests are geared towards earlier stages, they overlook the crucial opportunity to provide clinical baselines and reference points in later and non-verbal stages. The results of the newly adapted tests are not compared to a specific standard but rather an individual’s own baseline score to determine cognitive health. The MSE (Mental Status Examination) is one of the tests that influenced the design of the LSAE (Late-stage Alzheimer’s Examination). The MSE has several sections including those that focus on observations over inquiry - beneficial for individuals who are not verbally expressive. By combining observed aspects of the MSE (Mental Status Examination) test in addition to specific gestural observations NVB (Non Verbal Baseline) I created a new testing modality to examine participants or patients who are non-verbal (see appendix). Prior to my creation of NVBMSE, there were no non-verbal tests for patients with Alzheimer’s. Usually, once a patient reaches the later stages of Alzheimer’s where a patient is no longer able to verbally communicate, the medical team does not closely monitor cognitive changes relating to intellectual aptitude. However, my research reveals that subtle sensory indicators are ideal barometers to identify subtle but marked changes in patients receiving gamma therapy.
In light of the sensory changes occurring in Alzheimer’s, I created the MCPT (Multisensory Cognition Proficiency Test). The MCPT (see appendix) is the first and truly multisensory test for Alzheimer’s disease. The MCPT is an examination to determine baseline sensory cognition proficiency and establish precise markers for sensory changes at various intervals in patient care settings or a longitudinal experiment. Unlike traditional memory or IQ tests, this exam explores cognitive health and aptitude through distinct sensorial measurements (visual, olfactory, auditory and tactile) which in sum, present the detailed cognitive- behavioral profile of a patient or study participant. Present scores can be compared with past scores to identify improvement or regression. The MCPT includes additional sensory implications such as smell, color and tactile identification, senses that are usually not included holistically in other Alzheimer’s tests. In fact for testing purposes, color, smell, color and tactile identification must have physical or tangible manifestations. According to the head of University of Newcastle’s Tetrachromacy Project, Dr. Gabriele Jordan, even when testing for color vision in optometry or tetrachromacy tests, medical practitioners prefer not to use computers partly due to monitor, bandwidth and frequency variance. The MCPT does not rely on aspects of memory to examine cognitive decline. Instead, the MCPT tests sensory function to create a personal point of reference in evaluating cognitive health.
FUTURE STEPS ■
Our next steps include further analysis on the MCPT (Multisensory Cognition proficiency Test) and the NVBMSE (Non Verbal Baseline Mental State Examination) both for standardization, implementation in further studies a possible digital testing platform.