A new Australian test for dementia has revealed that some people have very poor visual acuity, meaning they can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is not.
The new test, called the Acuity Check Test, or ACA, has been developed by a team from the University of Adelaide.
Its the first such test to be used by the public.
Its been tested by over 12,000 people across the country, and found people with better vision are three times more likely to have the disease than those with poorer vision.
“We have a real problem with vision in the community,” Associate Professor Robert Tait from the Department of Psychology and Brain Science at the University said.
“There are a lot of people who are really visually impaired.”
They’ve got low vision, they can see in the dark, but they can only see in very narrow distances.
“So, if they’re not able to tell that there’s something out there that’s real and there’s not, that they can get information from, that’s a big problem.”
AcuityCheck test results for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, 2015.
“People with poorer visual acency and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association of Australia have identified a range of different areas of vision and vision disorders.”
Professor Tait said while some people could not see the difference, others had the disease.
“The people who have very good visual acuities, if you know that there are things out there out there, there are a range in the universe out there,” he said.
In the ACA, people can see the real world in three dimensions.
The test is meant to help improve quality of life for people with dementia, and is also expected to help people with autism and learning disabilities.
It is the latest in a series of tests being developed by the Department for Health and Disability Services, which is also investigating the use of drugs that target the brain.
The ACA tests are also being tested in the US, Australia and the UK.
Professor Tare said the tests were a step forward, and could be a valuable tool in the future.
“What we’re trying to do is develop a test that allows you to say that what you see is real, what you can see is what you want to see,” he told ABC Radio.
“You can’t have one of these tests tell you if something is a real object, or whether it’s an image or a video, it just says, well, we’re here, let’s go to the lab and see if we can find out what’s real.”
The ACA test was tested by Dr Robert Tass, Associate Professor at the Department and the University, and Associate Professor Rachael Dutton, the Institute’s lead scientist.