Scientists are developing a rapid test that helps in identifying signs of Alzheimer's and potentially help in faster screening of symptoms in patients of the brain condition.

The 30-second diagnosis process using a computer can be done by a general physician similar to blood pressure checks and be available in two to five years. The diagnosis looks for tiny areas of damage on patients brains, helping identify potential risks of developing Alzheimer's in a patient.

“The study lays open the possibilities for screening, early detection and intervention," said Professor David Bunce of Brunel University in London, who led the research. “The earlier we can intervene with people vulnerable to eventual dementia, the greater the chances of preventing or delaying the disease onset.”

Professor Bunce found 15 percent of the 428 people he subjected to tests having tiny lesions in their brain's memory hub, similar to those discovered in post-mortem examinations of Alzheimer's patients. The volunteers aged 44 to 48 were healthy men and women.

The study, which discovered the tiny lesions the size of a small grain in the rapid test, is published in the journal PLoS ONE.

“We know that changes in the brain begin many years before the first symptoms of dementia become evident. It is therefore vital to invest in research into the early signs of dementia in the brain,” said Ruth Sutherland, of the Alzheimer’s Society.