A 15-minute self-administered paper test can help predict mental decline in people over age 50, according to researchers at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. One of four versions of the test, called the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, or SAGE, was taken by more than 1,000 people over a six-year period. This test is a diagnostic tool that a person can take to a physician if he or she is exhibiting signs of cognitive decline.
Researchers, led by Douglas Scharre, MD, director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at OSU, found that the some type of cognitive decline was found in 28 percent of the test-takers. Many of those exhibiting decline were unaware of the signs. The value in early recognition is that available treatments work better when they are initiated in the early stages of cognitive decline.
“The big problem with dementia care is that individuals are identified much too late, Scharre said in a Plain Dealer (Cleveland) article.
The study was published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. A copy of the test is available at sagetest.osu.edu.