About Alzheimer's

A Simple Self-Test

Diagnosing Alzheimer's | 04.23.15

A Simple Self-Test for Possible Symptoms

There’s no single test that can definitively indicate whether a person has Alzheimer’s. For a true diagnosis, a thorough medical evaluation is necessary. However, there is a simple at-home test that can be useful in spotting the early signs of what could be Alzheimer’s or dementia.

SAGE.  A test with 80% accuracy.

This quick, 15-minute test is known as SAGE, or Self-Administered Cognitive Examination. SAGE was developed by the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. In a study of over 1,000 participants over the age of 50, the test successfully identified 4 out of every 5 people with mild cognitive decline, giving it an 80% accuracy rate.

The 4-page test requires just a pen and paper. The 22 questions cover areas such as problem-solving, language, memory and basic computational skills. Typical questions are similar to the following:

  • What is today’s date?
  • How are a watch and a ruler similar?
  • How many nickels are in 60 cents?
  • Write down the names of 12 animals.

A valuable aid in your doctor’s diagnosis

Missing 6 or more points on the SAGE test indicates that some additional follow-up with a medical professional is needed. Remember, taking this test will not tell you if you have Alzheimer’s or any other condition. But it could very well help your doctor pinpoint the true cause of any impaired cognitive or memory abilities.

You can download the SAGE test here.

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