If you struggle to speak concisely it could be an early warning symptom of dementia, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that displaying rambling speech - such as using superfluous words - was linked to mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in participants.
MCI is the condition that can pre-date some forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
The researchers hope the finding could pave the way for new methods in detecting dementia, enabling patients to receive support sooner.
During the trial, a group of participants were asked to create a sentence out of three words: “stove”, “water” and “pot”.
An example would be: “I filled the pot with water and put it on the stove.”
The trial included 22 young and healthy people, 24 healthy people who were older and 22 people with MCI.
The researchers found a stark contrast in results between the first two groups and the third.
While healthy participants in both age categories where able to create a concise sentence, those with MCI struggled.
Dr Janet Cohen Sherman shared the findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston.
“The MCIs are very long-winded. One significant difference is the mean length of utterance, how many words MCI subjects used versus healthy older, it was a very significant difference,” she said, according to The Mirror.
“MCIs almost tended to get lost along the way and had more difficulty connecting the three words and also difficulty remembering the three words.”
She added that the research could pave the way for new methods used to detect dementia.
“We are hoping over time we might be able to develop this into a kind of test to detect early changes that are predictive of Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.
She went on to reassure the room that people who have always been predisposed to using long-winded or rambling speech should not worry, as it will not always be a symptom of MCI.