My colleagues at UMBC from the computer science department deserve a huge shout out for this research. From the latest issue of New Scientist:
EVERY generation has some form of relationship with the internet, but for the older members of society, boosted computer use may have a surprise benefit: it could provide a warning that they may be experiencing the subtle early signs of dementia.
Lisa Vizer and colleagues at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, say the first signs of age-related cognitive problems, or a degenerative condition like Alzheimer’s, might be detectable using software that monitors telltale variations in an individual’s typing patterns. The researchers say that warnings of a possible cognitive dysfunction could improve diagnosis and treatments in time to minimise or delay serious impairment.
Read Paul Marks article here.