Alzheimers disease can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. The earlier symptoms can be detected, the sooner a person can receive appropriate treatment and support. Several tests can be used to help indicate if a person has Alzheimers. These can help point caregivers or patients in the right direction, but a doctor’s examination will be needed to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other causes for symptoms.
Using the same tests over a period of time can also help gauge whether a person’s abilities are declining over time and at what rate.
The Mini-Cog Test
The mini-cog test is a series of questions that will help assess a person’s everyday mental skills.
In the first part, a person is asked to remember the names of three common objects. They’ll then be asked to repeat these names a few minutes later.
In the second part, the person being tested will be given a time that they’ll draw on the face of a clock. They’ll be asked to show all 12 numbers in the right places.
Another test – The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE), has shown very promising success in detecting Alzheimer’s. The 15-minute test can be printed out and taken at home. Researchers at Ohio State University say it could be key in spotting early signs of dementia and cognitive design. It was successful in detecting four out of five people who have mild cognitive decline.
The test has 22 questions that are designed to measure language, memory, problem-solving, and other skills. A person can administer the test to themselves, or someone else can help administer it.
The test could help identify mild problems at an earlier age, leading to more effective treatment, according to Dr. Douglas Scharre, a neurologist at Ohio State University Medical Center. It can help people get help earlier and have access to medication that works better if it’s started earlier.
The test is free to download and print, and scoring instructions are also included. If you’re concerned about the results, contact New England Geriatrics for further evaluation.