COLUMBUS -- The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE test), which takes less than 15 minutes to complete, is a reliable tool for evaluating cognitive abilities.
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center confirmed the feasibility and efficiency of the tool for screening large numbers of people. The study is published in the January issue of The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences.
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. Of the 1,047 people who took the simple pen-and-paper test, 28 percent were identified with cognitive impairment, said Dr. Douglas Scharre, who developed the test with his team at Ohio State.
The SAGE test can also be taken at home by patients, who can then share the results with their physicians to help spot early symptoms of cognitive issues such as early dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
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.
"We can give them the test periodically and, the moment we notice any changes in their cognitive abilities, we can intervene much more rapidly," Scharre said.
The SAGE test could also provide health care providers and caregivers an earlier indication of life-changing events that could lie ahead. Earlier research by Scharre found that four out of five people (80 percent) with mild thinking and memory (cognitive) issues will be detected by this test, and 95 percent of people without issues will have normal SAGE scores.
To download the test, click HERE.