By Sam Blanchard Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 10:01 BST, 15 April 2019 | Updated: 10:02 BST, 15 April 2019
A simple iPad test could spot early signs of dementia and help doctors diagnose the condition earlier than before.
The NHS is trialling the exam, which tests the speed and accuracy of someone's thinking by showing them pictures of animals.
People doing the 'quick and easy' test are shown 100 photos and have to decide whether or not there is an animal in the picture.
Some have obvious creatures, while others have hidden animals or no animals at all.
If people are slow to respond or incorrectly identify the animals it could be a sign their brain function is reduced – potentially signalling a dementia risk.
The test, which can be done at home in minutes, shows users a fast succession of pictures and requires them to indicate whether or not the image had an animal in it. In the sample pictured, the image on the left has no animal, while the other two have a pig and a marsupial in
The NHS trust for South London and Maudsley is trialling the online test, which was developed by international healthcare tech company Cognetivity.
Benefits of the test are that it can be done at home and may be able to spot signs of brain decline before any symptoms appear allowing it to be noticed by a doctor.
Many people aren't diagnosed with the condition, which affects around 850,000 people in the UK, until its effects start to appear – by then it is often too late.
Common symptoms include memory problems, difficulty with understanding or communicating, and mood changes.
The number of people living with Alzheimer's could be twice as high as scientists believe, an expert has claimed.