Name That Celebrity: A New Approach to Testing for Early Dementia?

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-08_15d4c586cb.jpgHemera/Thinkstock (CHICAGO) -- Being able to put a name to celebrity faces -- as well as remember who they are -- appears to be a pretty reliable indicator of early-onset dementia in adults age 40-65. Now, researchers at Northwestern University have devised a test based on this principle. Their findings are published in the journal Neurology.

In order to determine whether or not this test would be able to identify those with dementia, they administered it to 30 patients with primary progressive aphasia, a condition associated with dementia, and 27 age-matched controls who did not have dementia. They found that those with primary progressive aphasia scored only 79 percent in recognition of famous faces and 46 percent in naming the faces, compared to 97 percent in recognition and 93 percent on naming for those free of dementia.

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