15 min-self-administered test may help spot Alzheimer's early
Researchers have confirmed the feasibility and efficiency of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE test), which takes less than 15 minutes to complete.
Memory disorders researchers visited 45 community events where they asked people to take a simple, self-administered test to screen for early cognitive loss or dementia.
Dr. Douglas Scharre, who developed the test with his team at Ohio State, said that of the 1047 people who took the simple pen-and-paper test, 28 percent were identified with cognitive impairment.
While the test does not diagnose problems like Alzheimer's, it does allow doctors to get a baseline of cognitive function in their patients, so they can follow them for these problems over time.
In this study, researchers found that SAGE's self-administered feature, pen-and-paper format, and four equivalent interchangeable forms allows it to be given in almost any setting, doesn't require any staff time to administer or to set up a computer, and makes it practical to rapidly screen large numbers of individuals in the community at the same time.
Study participants were ages 50 or older who had been recruited from a wide variety of community locations and events, including senior centers, health fairs, educational talks to lay public, independent and assisted-living facilities, and free memory screens through newspaper advertisement.
Participants are tested on orientation (month + date + year); language (verbal fluency + picture naming); reasoning/computation (abstraction + calculation); visuospatial (three-dimensional construction + clock drawing); executive (problem solving) and memory abilities.
The study has been published in the January issue of The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.
(Posted on 14-01-2014)