What does cognitive performance say about disease risk?
Greater fluctuations in alertness and reaction time can increase the risk of a respiratory viral disease and even on the severity of infection Clues. For example, games on the smartphone that determine cognitive performance could identify an increased risk of illness at an early stage.
In a new study involving experts from University of Michigan was examined whether a test of cognitive performance the susceptibility to infection with the human rhinovirus can predict. The results are published in the English-language journal “Scientific Reports“ published.
Participants were exposed to human rhinovirus
The investigation included 18 healthy peoplewho took part in a test to assess their brain performance three times a day for three days. All persons were then the so-called human rhinovirus (a cold virus) exposed.
The test delivered overall, according to the team 18 Measures of Cognitive Functionslike for example response time and attention.
How were viral infections identified?
The experts monitored and evaluated the virus excretion by flushing the participants’ nasal passages with a saline solution. Whether a virus infection was present and what amount of virus was present in the liquid was determined using the so-called Jackson-Score rated.
In this assessment, the participants step up eight different cold symptoms even on a scale of one to three one, explain the researchers.
changes over time are crucial
„Initially, we could not find any significant association between cognitive function and disease susceptibility because we used the raw scores. But when we looked at changes over time, we found that variation in cognitive function was closely related to immunity and susceptibility‘” said the study author Yaya Zhai in a press release.
Conventional clinical cognitive assessments often refer to so-called raw scores, which are present at a single point in time. Therefore, they often do not give a true picture of the health of the brain, explains the study author P. Murali Doraiswamy.
„Regular cognitive monitoring at home through digital self-monitoring platforms is the future of brain health assessment‘ the expert continued.
Severity of infections could be predicted
„This is the first human exposure study to show that a person’s cognitive performance prior to exposure to a respiratory virus can predict infection severity‘ adds study author Alfred Hero added.
Even subtle fluctuations in daily cognitive performance can changes in the brain Clues. Such changes are with one increased risk of disease connected, say the experts.
Predicting the performance of the immune system
Measuring cognitive function can performance of the immune system predict after infection with a respiratory virus. It turned out that cognitive variabilitywhich was measured with a digital self-test at home, was very meaningful according to the researchers.
Protection against diseases thanks to smartphones
The experts are of the opinion that in the future Smartphones by monitoring cognitive indicators (e.g. typing speed) and the Evaluation of sleeping habits could help identify times when people are most susceptible to disease. (as)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of medical specialist literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.
- Yaya Zhai, P. Murali Doraiswamy, Christopher W. Woods, Ronald B. Turner, Thomas W. Burke, et al.: Pre-exposure cognitive performance variability is associated with severity of respiratory infection; in: Scientific Reports (veröffentlicht 30.12.2022), Scientific Reports
- University of Michigan: A brain game may predict your risk of infection (veröffentlicht 03.01.2023), University of Michigan
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.