Pen & paper test screens for memory disorders

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January 19, 2014 12:02:05 PM PST
With Alzheimer's disease on the rise, doctors have been looking for reliable, inexpensive ways to find it early.

They may have just the tool.

Right now, there isn't any simple way to tell if someone has Alzheimer's Disease or dementia.

Memory loss is of course one sign - but that can come from other conditions, or even from medication.

To answer this need, researchers have developed a 15-minute at-home test.

SAGE - short for Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination - is a 4-page pen & paper test that doesn't just look at memory, but a person's language, reasoning, problem-solving skills, and more.

It can be done by an individual without help, and can be repeated often.

It allows doctors to follow patients over time, and pick up subtle changes that may not show up on office visits.

Dr. Douglas Scharre, one of the co-developers, and an Alzheimer's expert at Ohio State University, says," If we see this change, we can catch it really early and we can start treatments much earlier than we did without a test.."

Dr. Scharre says that over 5 years, the test was given to more than a thousand patients, and it found previously undetected signs of dementia in 30% of the volunteers.

Results from the SAGE test have found early signs of dementia, and are similar to what's been found using more complicated, expensive tests that have to be done in the doctor's office.

Four out of 5 people with mild thinking and memory problems will be detected by the test. and 95% of those WITHOUT issues will have normal SAGE scores.

You can take the test yourself, by downloading it from SAGE Test.


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