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Shëndeti

The early warning sign of dementia you can spot in your voice

The early warning sign of dementia you can spot in your voice

Memory loss and confusion are well-known symptoms of dementia.

But there are many more subtle signs of the mind-robbing disease - some of which affect the way we speak.

As we get older, we may start to notice that it takes us longer to find the right words during a heated argument.

But this is not necessarily a sign of dementia itself.

Instead, scientists from the University of Tornoto have found that the speed at which we speak is a more important indicator of brain health than word-finding.

Their new study involved using artificial intelligence software to analyze the language skills of 125 health volunteers aged 18 to 90.

They found that word-finding skills naturally deteriorated with age, but were not associated with cognitive decline, a precursor to dementia.

But speaking more slowly was associated with poorer brain function, the findings, published in Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, showed.

"Our results show that changes in overall speech rate may reflect changes in the brain," said study co-author Dr. Jed Meltzer.

"This suggests that speech speed should be tested as part of standard cognitive assessments to help clinicians detect cognitive decline more quickly and help older adults support their brain health as they age," explained Jed.

Other symptoms you can spot in someone's voice

-Not finding the right words

-Using a related word (for example, "book" instead of "newspaper")

-Using word substitutes (for example, "thing you sit on" instead of "chair")

- You can't find any words at all

-Don't bother finding words, but use words that don't make sense or are jumbled up in the wrong order

-Returning to the first language they learned as children. For example, if they learn English as a second language, they may forget how to speak it.