Self-Administered Dementia Test Could Lead To Early Diagnosis

March 31, 2010

Ohio (ChattahBox) – A researcher at the University of Ohio Medical Center has created a self-examination that could help people at risk of memory disorders accurately catch the signs of developing problems.

It is hoped that using this checklist would help patients to see a rising problem before dementia sets in, allowing them to see a doctor more quickly, get a diagnosis, and start treatment at the first signs.

Developed by Douglas Scharre, this simple, handwritten evaluation would take as little as 15 minutes for the average person to complete.

The study that led to the development of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) involved 254 people over the age of 59. The results showed that four out of five people with mild thinking or memory problems would be picked up in the results.

Scharre hopes that his new tool will lead to early diagnosis, which is incredibly important with dementia.

“It’s a recurring problem. People don’t come in early enough for a diagnosis, or families generally resist making the appointment because they don’t want confirmation of their worst fears,” Scharre explains.

“Whatever the reason, it’s unfortunate because the drugs we’re using now work better the earlier they are started.”

The 22-point test can be taken free of charge by downloading the examination and score sheet at http://www.sagetest.osu.edu/.

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