Cognitive decline describes the changes in cognitive abilities such as memory, awareness, and judgment that may occur with aging. In the United States, over 11% of adults aged 65 or olderTrusted Sourcesay they are experiencing cognitive decline.
As well as being an impairment to mental function in older age, mild cognitive impairment can also be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. However, age-related cognitive decline does not always worsen or lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Still, many cases of cognitive decline are undiagnosedTrusted Source. This is partly due to issues with current methods of detecting cognitive decline. If cognitive decline were better diagnosed, more people would be able to access treatment, potentially preventing or delaying the onset of dementia.
In an effort to find a more effective method of detecting cognitive decline as a risk factor for dementia, a recent study used a combination of musical tests and electroencephalogram (EEG)recordings to identify cognitive decline in seniors.
The present study included 50 patients from the inpatient rehabilitation department of Dorot-Netanya Geriatric Medical Center in Israel, ages 77 years on average, as well as 22 healthy controls.
To assess participants’ cognitive status, each participant completed the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the current gold standard method for evaluating cognitive function. This manual assessment is usually conducted by a trained occupational therapist and includes a variety of tasks designed to test cognitive ability.
Next, participants were asked to complete a simple musical test.
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