Oxygen sensors to help in devices for dementia
Oxygen sensors are likely to become an integral part of devices designed to measure the progress of dementia in the years to come.
A team at Lancaster University have been working on ways to detect and diagnose dementia, and their £1.5 million research is helping to create devices that do just that.
In one of two parallel projects, the researchers have identified the importance of using oxygen sensors alongside instruments that measure the brain’s electrical activity.
This should ensure the activity within the brain is detected in tandem with cardiovascular signals like blood oxygen levels and blood flow rates.
Professor Aneta Stefanovska, one of the leaders of the project, says: “I hope that we will be able to reveal the link between the oscillations in the cardiovascular system and the brain waves in health and in dementia.
“To date, very few studies have dealt with the fact that neurons in the brain depend on a very orchestrated action of the cardiovascular system to feed them with oxygen and ions that they use in their functioning.”
Ultimately, the team hope to develop an entirely new way to diagnose dementia – one that combines data from oxygen sensors and brain activity to produce a comprehensive picture of the condition.