Pittsboro News: Long-winded Speeches Could Indicate Early Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

April 25, 2017

Research has found that subtle changes in speech style such as rambling and long-winded anecdotes could signal the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. Many scientists are are studying ways to detect the disease years before diagnosis through small changes in speech compared to normal aging. Diagnosing early would help the patient through early intervention and treatment.

Scientists have studied the writing of well-known authors such as Agatha Christie and Iris Murdoch. The authors increasingly used repetitive and vague phrasing in their works. They often used fillers such as: actually, basically, well, something, or thing. Mental imprecision worsening was the key to the changes. Just being long-winded when talking was not necessarily alarming. In one study, patients with mild cognitive impairment were asked to make a simple sentence with the words: pen, ink and paper. They often were less concise, the sentences were much longer and they had a hard time staying on point. Whereas, the people without cognitive impairment simply created a simple sentence with the three words.

Most of the treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have not been effective at getting rid of the amyloid plaque build-up in the brain’s of Alzheimer’s patients. Some believe the failures may be in part to the damage to the brain due to the timing of the diagnosis. Many are trying to push the detection up to an early time, so that more help can be provided.

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by Sheri Chandler

Filed in: News

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