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23
Jan

Neuronetrix Partners with the University of Kentucky in an Alzheimers Disease Screening Study

LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 23, 2008)-Researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging are launching an Alzheimers screening clinical trial with Neuronetrixs innovative brain scanning system, called COGNISION. The study will involve brainwave assessments using a technology called event-related potentials (ERPs). The study is expected to validate the performance of the COGNISION system and to demonstrate the systems applicability in a primary care setting. Up to 100 Alzheimer sufferers and controls will participate over the next 6-12 months.

During the study patients will wear a sophisticated electronic headset which will record brain activity in response to an auditory stimulus. The process is similar to hearing screening tests performed on newborn infants throughout the country. The data is then uploaded to an online database where a powerful pattern recognition engine will correlate the ERP tests with known brainwave patterns.

The COGNISION test is expected to be the first approved Alzheimers disease screening test which directly evaluates a patients cognitive performance. We are not looking at a surrogate biomarker which may or may not correlate with Alzheimers, instead, we are directly measuring the cognitive deficits caused by the disease. says K.C. Fadem, co-founder of Neuronetrix.

It is generally believed that the drugs used to treat Alzheimers, such as market leader Aricept

from Pfizer, are most effective early in the disease process. Because of this, a national focus

has been placed on the importance of Alzheimers screening to determine optimum treatment paths in the early stage of the disease. At least one organization of medical experts, the AD Screening Discussion Group, has advocated that Alzheimers disease screenings become a routine part of the application for Medicare.

Alzheimers disease affects about 5 million Americans with 500,000 new cases reported each year. This number is expected to grow to 16 million by 2050. The CDC recently reported that Alzheimers disease moved up to 7th place from 8th place among the leading causes of death in 2004, passing influenza and pneumonia.

The Sanders-Brown Center at the University of Kentucky is one of only 32 Alzheimers Centers of Excellence in the country. Neuronetrix is planning a follow on study to evaluate the COGNISION System on a commercial scale that will be performed at other Alzheimers Centers of Excellence including the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.

For more information, go to www.neuronetrix.com.

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