Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are not only devastating to those affected but are also widely recognised to provide major caregiver and economic burden. Early detection has been shown to optimise the impact of many potential pharmaceutical treatments for dementia. However, treatment of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and other mental health disorders has long been a major unmet clinical need.
The Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) underpinned by research at the University of Cambridge was invented to bridge a translational gap between basic neuroscience and classical neuropsychological assessment. CANTAB revolutionises the detection of cognitive impairment in routine clinical care by replacing traditional paper-and-pencil-based cognitive testing with a computerised ‘objective’ mode of measurement.
In 2002, Cambridge Cognition was spun-out with its main product being CANTAB. New developments since 2000 have included availability on other platforms including the iPad and the Web.
Since August 2013, CANTAB together with the more flexible developments of CANTAB Mobile and CANTAB connect have been used in 33,803 cognitive assessments in primary and private health care, and in 261 clinical trials.
The CANTAB Paired Associates Learning (PAL) test was shown to predict probable Alzheimer’s disease 32 months before formal diagnosis in patients with subjective memory complaints, enabling earlier treatment with potential pharmaceutical treatments for dementia, thereby optimising their impact.
Biogen and Eisai’s patient information portal about Alzheimer’s and the Brain Health Registry both incorporate the CANTAB PAL test, enabling individuals to explore their own brain health.
The research has led to improved patient management, contributed to pharmaceutical practice, and generated substantial revenue and commercial opportunities worldwide. It is now available in almost 50 languages and has been used in over 100 countries.
“CANTAB Mobile has raised awareness of mild cognitive impairment in primary care and acted as a stimulus to actively encourage practices to assess patients at an early stage.”– Dementia Programme manager from a Clinical Commissioning Group