Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Simple Test for Young-onset Dementia

A Simple Test for Young-onset Dementia
     Senior moments, experience in our 40’s, 50’s and beyond, may actually be an indicator of primary progressive aphasia. How many of us are challenged to identify photographs of famous faces? This lack of recall may be caused by cortical atrophy in particular brain areas.
     The Northwestern University Famous Faces (NUFFACE) Test has been used to test 30 patients with primary progressive aphasia and 27 controls free of dementia (mean age 62 years) to recognize and name famous faces like John F. Kennedy and Princess Diana. Those tested with primary progressive aphasia vs. the control group scored 79% vs. 97% for face recognition and 46% vs. 93% for face naming respectively.
     These outcomes indicate the usefulness of the NUFFACE test in the identification of individuals with young-set dementia. The test also demonstrates the difference between recognition and naming impairments.  Further testing will evaluate whether the NUFFACE Test will be able to assess other types of neurodegenerative syndromes.

Face Recognition Test May Predict Early Dementia
Published: Aug 12, 2013
By Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage TodayReviewed by F. Perry Wilson, MD, MSCE; Instructor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner