New study will use VR headsets to pinpoint individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s

A new study to be lead by a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. will utilize virtual reality headsets to pinpoint individuals who may be at risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a recent online report by The Observer.  

For his study, Dennis Chan, PhD, and colleagues will recruit 300 people between the ages of 40 and 60 years. The participants—who will either carry a gene that puts them at risk of the condition, have a family history of Alzheimer's or possess neither—will wear a virtual reality headset and be asked to navigate in certain virtual environments and then remember the steps.  

Chan, whose previous research identified losing navigational skills as some of the first indications of Alzheimer's disease, hopes that his team may be able to identify early signs of the disease in order to provide treatment and care sooner before the disease progresses.  

“We will make a note of those who have particular problems and see if these are the ones who are at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s,” Chan told The Observer. “The aim of the study is very simple: can we detect changes in brain function before people are aware that they have them?” 

See The Observer’s entire article below.