We may be able to identify signs of dementia earlier, thanks to new research into age-related forgetfulness. Researchers from Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute in Canada have discovered that older adults have a much weaker relationship between what their eyes see, and their brain activity, in an experiment where they looked at faces on screens while having brain scans.
‘These findings demonstrate that the eyes and brain are taking in information from their surroundings, but the linkage aspect of creating a memory appears to be broken,’ says Dr Jennifer Ryan, a researcher on the project. ‘When the memory isn’t being created, the object continues to remain unfamiliar to a person, even when they have seen it multiple times.’
The research looked at 21 adults aged 64-79, as well as 20 aged 19-28, were briefly shown faces on a screen, with some of the faces being repeated. Researchers analysed eye movements and brain scans of participants as they looked at the images.
The team now plan to explore more around this connection, and how the information can be used to spot cognitive decline earlier.
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