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Language Analysis Shows Promise for Detecting Mild Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults

In their study, researchers investigated the relationship between spoken language and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in older adults. They hypothesized that indicators of MCI could be detected in the content of spoken language, which could be used to distinguish those with MCI from those with intact cognition. To test their hypothesis, the researchers conducted a linguistic analysis of spoken words in participants with MCI and those with intact cognition participating in a clinical trial.

Using Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC), the researchers analyzed unstructured conversations recorded during the trial. They found that MCI participants were accurately distinguished from those with intact cognition with an 84% classification accuracy, using the linguistic features obtained by LIWC. These findings suggest that spoken language may serve as a useful tool in detecting MCI in older adults, which could have important implications for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.


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