"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

At-Home Screening for Memory Loss: Should You Try It?

It is estimated that there are greater than 55 million people worldwide. Living with Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia, and this number is projected to extend to 78 million by 2030 and 139 million by 2050. There simply aren't enough neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, neuropsychologists, and other specialists to diagnose these individuals with cognitive decline and dementia. Primary care providers might want to step up.

While this will appear to be an obvious and straightforward solution, my friends who're primary care providers remind me that they barely have time to do the fundamentals—like managing blood pressure and diabetes—and that That they don't have time to take fancy cognitive tests. Even a straightforward test like The mini cog (drawing of a clock and three words to recollect) is simply too long for them. So how will we diagnose the growing variety of individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias over the subsequent few many years?

A self-administered test can screen for memory deficits.

In 2010, physicians within the Department of Cognitive Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center developed a cognitive test to screen for memory deficits. That individuals can manage themselves. This concept of a self-administered cognitive test can solve the issue of the time-poor primary care provider. Individuals can take the test within the privacy of their very own home and produce the outcomes with them to the office. The results can then be used to find out whether additional workup and/or referral to a specialist is indicated.

test, Self-Administered Gerocognitive Test (SAGE) in comparison with clinician-administered tests similar to Mini Mental State Test (MMSE) and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA) in addition to standardized neuropsychological testing. What was not known, nevertheless, was how well SAGE would have the option to predict who would develop Alzheimer's disease or one other explanation for dementia.

Predicting the long run

To answer this query, the authors performed a Previous chart review 655 individuals were seen of their memory disorders clinic with a follow-up of 8.8 years. They compared their SAGE test with the MMSE.

Based on each initial and follow-up clinic visits, they divided their clinic population into 4 groups. Before I explain groups, let me explain just a few terms:

  • Dementia When cognitive impairment results in impairment.
  • Mild cognitive impairment. (MCI) occurs when there's cognitive impairment, but functioning is normal.
  • Subjective cognitive decline When individuals are concerned about their considering and memory, each cognition and performance are normal.

The 4 groups they compared were individuals.

  • Alzheimer's disease dementia
  • MCI that progressed to Alzheimer's disease dementia.
  • MCI that has progressed to a different style of dementia.
  • Subjective cognitive decline.

They found a surprisingly high correlation between the SAGE test and the MMSE that was capable of predict how each of those groups did over time. Moreover, they found that the SAGE test could predict the conversion of a person with MCI to dementia six months before the MMSE.

What is required to bring this test into current practice?

Even a self-administered test that individuals can perform at home will still require training for primary care providers, to grasp how the test ought to be used and tips on how to interpret the outcomes. . However, there is no such thing as a query that such training can be precious. After the training is accomplished, the knowledge gained should have the option to save lots of the clinician 1000's of hours of time, along with making – or mis-diagnosing.

Another query is how individuals will react when told they should take a 10- to 15-minute cognitive test at home and produce the outcomes to their doctor. Will they do it? Or will those that need the test probably the most avoid doing it — or cheat on it? My suspicion is that people who find themselves concerned will get tested, as will individuals who generally follow their doctor's instructions. Some individuals who may gain advantage from the data the test provides may not, but lots of these individuals is not going to undergo a “regular” pencil-and-paper test with a physician or clinic staff.

A brand new model of cognitive screening

Previously, there have been two varieties of screening tools that helped determine whether someone was developing cognitive impairment that could lead on to dementia: clinician-administered cognitive tests and family/caregiver tests. Questionnaires. Now there's a 3rd style of screening tool: a self-administered test. Using these self-administered tests is vital to detecting the growing variety of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and other causes of dementia that might be with us over the subsequent several many years.

Want to check yourself?

You can download the SAGE test. Here. As stated on the web site, please take the reply sheet to your doctor in order that they can rating it and discuss the outcomes with you.