UK to Lead Global Project for Early Detection of Dementia

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. invasive / ɪnˈveɪ sɪv / (adj) – describing a medical procedure that involves cutting through or inserting an instrument to the body

    Invasive procedures use surgical tools and injections.

  2. take advantage of (something) / teɪk ædˈvæn tɪdʒ əv / (idiom) – to use an opportunity to gain something

    Students should take advantage of the library facilities.

  3. open to (something) / ˈoʊ pən tʊ / (idiom) – willing to accept something

    Our boss is open to suggestions. He always asks for our opinions on things.

  4. revolutionize / ˌrɛv əˈlu ʃəˌnaɪz / (v) – to change something

    The invention of the internet revolutionized communication.

  5. take on (something) / teɪk ɒn / (phrasal) – to begin to do something challenging

    He decided to take on the job despite his lack of experience.


Read the text below.

Early this year, dementia research organization Alzheimer’s Research UK launched an international initiative to improve the early detection of dementia-causing diseases.

The organization presented the initiative, called the Early Detection of Neurodegenerative (EDoN) Diseases, at the World Economic Forum held in Switzerland last January. The charity will work with specialists and experts in data science and medicine from key institutions around the world. EDoN’s ultimate goal is to develop a practical method of detecting early signs and symptoms of diseases that cause dementia.

Currently, ways to detect dementia-causing diseases are expensive, and some of them are invasive. According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, these existing procedures are not appropriate for wide-scale use. Because of this, experts involved in EDoN plan to take advantage of noninvasive and cost-effective tools like wearable devices to collect various data, such as heart rate and sleep patterns. Alzheimer’s Research UK is confident that with the growing popularity of digital health technology, the project can gain large quantities of data from people around the world.

A study by Alzheimer’s Research UK found that 85% of adults in the United Kingdom are open to the idea of participating in tests that can determine if they are showing symptoms of an illness like Alzheimer’s.

Caroline Dinenage, UK Minister for Care, believes that initiatives like EDoN can revolutionize the early detection of the signs and symptoms of dementia. She added that through advanced technology, scientists may find a way to stop the disease from developing.

An EDoN partner believes that with the United Kingdom’s advancement in science and artificial intelligence, the country is equipped to take on this kind of ambitious initiative.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What do you think are the pros and cons of international health initiatives like this? Discuss.
• What do you think your country can contribute to this kind of initiative? Explain.

Discussion B

• Is dementia an alarming health issue in your country? Explain.
• Do you think more initiatives should be implemented to raise people’s awareness of dementia? Why or why not?