A Reliable Medical Memory Test You Do By Yourself.

April 2, 2010 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

SAGE: a self administered memory test - image by RAWKU5 on Stock.Xchng Treatments for Alzheimer’s are most effective when started early in the disease’s progression, and other causes of memory problems respond well to early treatment, too.  Unfortunately, many people hesitate to talk to their doctors about their memory problems.

Sometimes they’re worried about being laughed at and having their concerns dismissed, other times they’re afraid of confirming or admitting their fears.

And some doctors don’t give memory tests early enough.  The human-administered tests are time consuming and expensive for the doctors to do, while computer-driven and tests  can make older patients anxious (as can being quized by the doctor themselves).

That’s where the new SAGE (Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination) test comes in.  Developed at the Ohio State University Medical Center,  this handwritten test that can take as little as 15 minutes to finish, and downloadable copies with instructions are available for free to health care professionals.

SAGE is pretty accurate, too. The results identify 4 out of 5 people with mild cognitive problems,  and 95% of those who are normal will breathe a sigh of relief after the test.  It’s available with four different sets of questions, so that it can be given multiple times.

Hopefully, the ease and availability of the test will make memory screenings more comfortable and  affordable for patients, and less time consuming for doctors – meaning they’re more likely to give the tests.  And along with early diagnosis, SAGE may provide clues to care givers and patients about progression of their problems and what to expect in the future.

And while intended for professional use, you can get a look at the test yourself, here: http://www.sagetest.osu.edu/ – just remember that it’s designed as *part* of the diagnostic process, and not the whole.

I’m not sure how the test-developer’s would feel about this idea, but if you’re concerned about your own memory, or that of a loved one, it might be more comfortable to ask your  doctor specifically about this test.    It’s could provide a starting point for conversation that could be easier to approach than talking about how many times you misplaced your keys last week.

For more information on the test and it’s development, see :

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100331122643.htm

Entry filed under: memory.

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