At risk of Alzheimer’s? Take this 15-minute test

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Screenshot 2014-01-13 at 11.50.02 AM

A simple, self-administered test can screen patients for early signs of dementia just as reliably as detailed cognitive testing, Ohio researchers have announced.

The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, or SAGE, does not diagnose Alzheimer’s. Rather, the answers provide doctors a baseline of cognitive function in their patients, says Dr. Douglas Scharre, who developed the test with his team at Ohio State.

“If we catch this cognitive change really early, then we can start potential treatments much earlier than without having this test,” Scharre says. “We can give the test periodically and, the moment we notice any changes in their cognitive abilities, we can intervene much more rapidly. We are finding better treatments, and we know that patients do much better if they start the treatments sooner than later.”

When researchers used SAGE to test people 50 and older at 45 community events, “28 percent were identified with cognitive impairment.”

You can download a PDF of a test here.

 

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