Neurotrack – Identifying Alzheimer’s Disease 3-4 Years Early

Medicaid PlanningAlzheimer’s is a debilitating neurological disease that continues to elude scientists, researchers, and physicians in terms of the cause, how to detect and diagnose it, and how to treat it.  Elli Kaplan, whose grandparents suffered from Alzheimer’s, founded Neurotrack, an early diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s that can detect symptoms 3-4 years before they appear.

Neurotrack functions as a computer-based memory test that looks at impairments in the hippocampus of the brain, which is the first structure that is impacted by Alzheimer’s disease.  It works as follows: Patients sit in front of a computer screen with an eye-tracking device and view a series of images, some novel and some not novel. Based on how much time a patient spends looking at the novel image versus the image that hasn’t changed, Neurotrack can give you a prognosis.

According to Kaplan, “It is a seemingly simple test that brings together two very complex things: First, a human being’s innate preference for novelty; and second, the discovery, made by Dr. Stuart Zola, that by tracking the way an individual moves their eyes, particularly when viewing objects or images, one is able to diagnose impairments that exist in the brain that might not be diagnosable by even more invasive diagnostic tools.”

  • Finding the right people for clinical trials: One of the biggest problems that pharmaceutical companies face today in terms of developing preventive drugs for Alzheimer’s disease is populating the clinical trials with the right type of people. Neurotrack will help pharmaceutical companies find the right subjects for the trials, so they can be conducted more quickly, and life-saving drugs could get to market much faster.
  • Families have an extra few years to plan financially for Alzheimer’s: The costs of Alzheimers disease are $200 billion today and projected to be in excess of $1 trillion by 2050. Families with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s often spend $10-$12,000 per month for nursing homes in Northern Virginia. An early diagnosis will enable the person with Alzheimer’s and his or her family to proactively meet with a Certified Elder Law Attorney, such as Evan Farr, and plan for future financial and long-term care needs. 

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