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Talks and Q&A with Dr Dennis Chan and Sarah Wilson on early detection and the EDoN initiative.

Today, the diseases that cause dementia are diagnosed when symptoms like memory loss appear. To have the best chance of halting them, we need to intervene decades earlier, when these diseases first take hold.

Our Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases (EDoN) initiative is harnessing the power of wearable technology and AI. It sets out to develop a wearable device, like a smartwatch, that can identify the earliest signs of the diseases that cause dementia, years before symptoms appear.

Watch back to hear about the subtle clues, undetectable to the human eye, that can indicate brain changes. Dennis and Sarah discussed how digital technology and data science is working to revolutionise our ability to pick up early signs of brain changes that lead to dementia, and how important this work is.

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Dr Dennis Chan

Dr Dennis Chan is Principal Research Fellow at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and a practising consultant neurologist. His main area of research is the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease, and he has pioneered the use of various tech-based tools for diagnosis including virtual reality and app-based tests. As well as his work in dementia, he leads national work on memory and thinking problems in long Covid.

Dr Chan is one of the scientific leads for the EDoN initiative.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is a Research Assistant and PhD student at Newcastle University working on the EDoN initiative. Sarah engages with patient and public involvement groups to gain the perspectives of individuals with memory and thinking problems and their carers on the usability, acceptability and inclusivity of wearable digital technology which may be included in the EDoN digital tool. She also engages with clinicians to gain their perspectives on the implementation of a digital tool that could detect dementia years before symptoms are apparent.

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