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Is There A Test For Dementia

Why Would Anyone Want An Early Alzheimers Diagnosis

Is there a genetic test for predisposition to dementia?

The SAGE test is useful because it helps you understand if your concerns are something to be worried about.

If the results seem to indicate that there could be a problem, you might think theres no point in talking with the doctor because theres no cure for dementia.

The most important is that a treatable condition could be the cause of cognitive impairment. Finding out sooner means getting treatment ASAP to eliminate the cognitive symptoms.

If the cognitive impairment is caused by Alzheimers or dementia, a major benefit is that starting treatment early is far more effective in managing symptoms and delaying progression of the disease.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Dementia

Signs and symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.

The symptoms of dementia can vary and may include:

  • Experiencing memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion
  • Difficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, or reading and writing
  • Wandering and getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
  • Trouble handling money responsibly and paying bills
  • Repeating questions
  • Not caring about other peoples feelings
  • Losing balance and problems with movement

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can also develop dementia as they age, and recognizing their symptoms can be particularly difficult. Its important to consider a persons current abilities and to monitor for changes over time that could signal dementia.

How The Blood Test For Dementia Works

Also known as the Precitivity AD, the C2N test or blood test for dementia uses mass spectrometry. An analytic technique used to detect specific beta-amyloid protein fragment that is one of the most common hallmarks of Alzheimers.

The beta-amyloid proteins normally accumulate and form plaques which can be seen on the brain 2 decades after an individual starts to notice they have memory issues.

The levels of beta-amyloid start to decline in the surrounding fluids as the plaques continue to build up in the brain. These changes can be measured in spinal fluid samples.

It is also possible to measure them in the blood where beta-amyloid concentrations are usually lower.

PrecivityAD is one of the first blood tests for Alzheimers that could enable early detection of the neurodegenerative illness.

HOPEFULLY, decades before the first symptoms appear.

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Why Take The Sage Test

You may want to take SAGE if you are concerned that you might have cognitive issues. Or you may wish to have your family or friends take the test if they are having memory or thinking problems. The difficulties listed can be early signs of cognitive and brain dysfunction. While dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can lead to these symptoms, there are many other treatable disorders that also may cause these signs.

It is normal to experience some memory loss and to take longer to recall events as you age. But if the changes you are experiencing are worrying you or others around you, SAGE can be a helpful tool to assess if further evaluation is necessary.

Unfortunately, many people do not seek help for these kinds of symptoms until they have experienced them for several years. There are many treatable causes of cognitive and thinking loss, and in some cases, medications or other treatments can be very effective-especially if provided when symptoms first begin.

Remember that SAGE does not diagnose any specific condition. The results of SAGE will not tell you if you have Alzheimer’s disease, mini-strokes or any number of other disorders. But the results can help your doctor know if further evaluation is necessary.

How The Sage Test For Dementia Works

Are There Tests For Alzheimer

SAGE stands for Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination and was developed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The SAGE test has 12 questions that cover all aspects of cognition, including memory, problem solving, and language.

There are 4 different versions of the test. Theyre similar enough, but having multiple versions means that someone could take the test once a year and wouldnt improve their score each year just from the practice of taking it before.

This way, the test is slightly different each time.

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How Effective Is The Blood Test

C2N reported that they used the Preclivity AD on 168 people. They then compared the results with those of PET scans.

When PET scans showed high amounts of amyloid-beta the blood test agreed 92% of the time.

If there was no amyloid shown after a PET scan, the blood test also gave similar results 77% of the time.

What Is Cognitive Testing For Alzheimers

Cognitive testingcognitioncognitiveAlzheimers

These include the Mini Mental State Examination , the most used for clinical purposes, and the Alzheimers Disease Assessment Scale cognitive subscale , the most used for measuring the effect of treatments.

Similarly, can you test yourself for Alzheimers? The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination is an online test that promises to detect the early stages of Alzheimers disease or dementia. Developed by researchers at Ohio State University, the test is designed to be done at home and then taken to a physician for a more formal evaluation.

Thereof, what is a cognitive function test?

The Cognitive Function Test is a free online tool that aims to measure this gap to give people the opportunity to know if they are on the green line with normal brain aging or on the red line, in which the brains function is declining in a way that suggests future Alzheimers disease.

What is a good score on a memory test?

The maximum MMSE score is 30 points. A score of 20 to 24 suggests mild dementia, 13 to 20 suggests moderate dementia, and less than 12 indicates severe dementia. On average, the MMSE score of a person with Alzheimers declines about two to four points each year.

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Medical History And Mental Status Examination

Clinical assessment of a patients history and performing a mental status examination are necessary steps in the evaluation of cognitive disorders. In identifying the presence of AD, the presence of a typical slow and insidious progression of symptoms is sought. Other factors capable of producing cognitive impairment are identified, including medical disorders, substances or medications that can cause cognitive impairment, or psychiatric conditions associated with cognitive changes. The characteristic clinical syndrome of AD includes a prominent disturbance of what is known as episodic memory .

Memory of recent events is particularly impaired, and evidence that reminders are of limited benefit is consistent with the memory storage problem typically found in AD. Language and visuospatial problems may also be reported or identified. In less common variants of AD, the disturbance of language or visual functions may be more prominent than memory difficulties in the diseases early stage.

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Can Dementia Suddenly Get Worse

Dementia Test

The progression of dementia depends on the underlying disease. Some diseases have a rapid progression. Others progress more slowly. Any sudden change with either slow or rapid progression should be evaluated for another cause. In most cases, changes with dementia may seem like they came out of the blue when they actually may have been slowly developing in the background. The best way to prepare for changes and manage expectations is through information. Your doctor and medical team will be a valuable resource. There are a variety of educational resources that are also available through the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Evaluating Cognitive Impairment And Dementia

Screening includes office-based assessments of cognitive function, as well as laboratory testing and neuroimaging. All patients suspected of having dementia should have a physical examination, including a screening neurological examination and review of medications, as a part of the evaluation.

Quick Cognitive Screening Tests

Mini-Mental State Examination

The Mini-Mental State Examination is an 11-item test that takes five to 10 minutes to administer .

  • Scoring: suggested cut-off of 24 or less out of 30 should raise concerns about possible dementia.
  • Performance affected by age and education
  • Test items that are most sensitive to detection: orientation to date , delayed word recall and intersecting pentagons
  • Pros: familiar and takes a relatively short time to administer
  • Cons: takes longer than other similar tests tests a limited number of cognitive domains often not sensitive to early cognitive change

The Mini-Cog is a first-line cognitive screen for primary care, although it has not been evaluated as extensively as the MMSE or the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. The Mini-Cog combines the delayed three-word recall test and the clock-drawing test .

Delayed three-word recall test

  • Tell the patient: I am going to say three words. I want you to repeat them back to me. Explain that you will later ask the patient to recall the words.
  • Ask the patient to recall the three words.
  • Clock-drawing test

    This test involves one item, and takes one to two minutes to administer.

    What Is Dementia And What Causes It

    Dementia is a syndrome that causes a person to develop difficulty and problems with their memory or their ability to think. Unlike the normal changes that happen in a persons memory and thinking over time, dementia affects someones ability to function in their daily life activities and their normal routine .There are different causes of dementia. These causes are typically underlying neurological conditions . One common cause of dementia is Alzheimers disease. Other causes include diseases that impact brain blood vessels. For example, strokes may cause what is commonly termed Vascular Dementia. Some causes include Lewy Body Disease and Parkinsons disease.

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    Potential Breakthrough For Prevention And Treatment

    Researchers hope that their findings lead to breakthroughs in treatment methods. Senior study author, Dr. Ed Goetzl, says:

    My vision of the future is you have your breakfast cereal, and on one side you have a statin for cardiovascular disease and on the other side you have three pills to prevent dementia.

    He went on to state that, This study shows that insulin resistance is a major central nervous system metabolic abnormality in Alzheimers disease that contributes to neural cell damage. As insulin resistance is a known condition in type 2 diabetes and is treatable with several classes of existing drugs, these treatments may be useful as part of a multi-agent program for Alzheimers.

    The blood test is still in the early stages of development and will require a larger and longer study before it can be used to detect Alzheimers. The lead author of the study and neuroscientist at the National Institute on Aging, Dimitrios Kapagiannis, says: We will need replication and validation, but Im very optimistic this work will hold.

    Do you think the newest blood test is a viable way to prevent Alzheimers disease? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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    New Blood Marker Renews Hope For Blood Test To Detect Alzheimers

    A quiz has been developed that could help spot Alzheimer

    Another study from the University of Otago has also revealed another blood marker that could help diagnose Alzheimers through a simple blood test. Researchers found that participants with a small number of molecules found in the blood and brain called microRNAs can correctly detect Alzheimers with 86% accuracy.

    This study involved participants that had been diagnosed with the disease, as well as neurologically healthy individuals. Researchers found that three microRNAs were different between the two groups and detecting these microRNAs would be possible through a simple blood test. Dr. Joanna Williams, who led the screening of microRNA in blood samples of participants, says, Although there are other known markers of early Alzheimers disease, such as an accumulation of the protein beta-amyloid in the brain, testing for these involves expensive or invasive procedures that cant be used in routine clinical practice.

    Dr. Williams went on to state, We know that the levels of these microRNAs differ in people who have Alzheimers and people who dont. So if a general practitioner took a blood sample from a patient who was beginning to show symptoms of memory loss, what wed do is analyze that blood and see how that patients pattern of microRNA compares against established patterns.

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    Looking More Closely At The Brain

    Leading researchers say there are good reasons to seek early detection: People have time to plan, to try drug therapy, and to live their last good years fully. Yet such knowledge comes at a high price: With no cure yet in sight, people like Les Dennis must live with the awareness that they are gradually slipping into dementia.

    Were becoming aware that Alzheimers doesnt start overnight and could be preceded by years of a vulnerable state, says Sandra Weintraub, PhD, director of neuropsychology at Northwestern Universitys Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimers Disease Center. Only 3% of Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimers between the ages of 65 and 74. But by age 85, a stunning 47% have the disease, according to the National Institute on Aging. By detecting Alzheimers at the earliest point during those critical years, she says people like Les Dennis benefit from a window of warning time they can use to plan the care theyll need, to settle financial matters, or simply do the things they love the most.

    Many of the tests are not new. Rather, in recent years researchers have grown more skilled at using them. One of the most reliable is the California Verbal Learning Test, which assesses skills such as verbal memory and problem solving.

    These cognitive tests are about 90% accurate in identifying people who have very mild dementia, says David Salmon, PhD, a professor in residence in the department of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego.

    What Does Pgd Involve

    PGD involves the following steps:

  • An egg is fertilised outside of the body a process known as in vitro fertilisation .
  • The embryo is left to develop for a few days.
  • Some cells are safely removed from the embryo.
  • The DNA from these cells is tested for the specific gene change.
  • Embryos without the gene change are implanted into the womb, where they should continue to develop.
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    Blood Tests To Check For Other Conditions

    Your GP will arrange for blood tests to help exclude other causes of symptoms that can be confused with dementia.

    In most cases, these blood tests will check:

    • liver function
    • haemoglobin A1c
    • vitamin B12 and folate levels

    If your doctor thinks you may have an infection, they may also ask you to do a urine test or other investigations.

    Read more about blood tests.

    Dementia Blood Test Panel

    Genetic testing for dementia

    A Dementia Blood Test Panel is commonly ordered tests used to differentiate between Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia. Includes CBC, Electrolytes, TSH, T4 total, Vitamin B12, CRP, and Sedimentation Rate.

    Also Known As:

    Methodology: See Individual Tests

    Preparation: Fasting for 12 hours is required. Refrain from taking vitamin C supplements and fruits 24 hours before the collection and biotin for at least 72 hours prior to the collection. Must draw before Schilling test, transfusions or B12 therapy is started.

    Test Results: 3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

    Also Known As:

    Methodology: See Individual Tests

    Preparation: Fasting for 12 hours is required. Refrain from taking vitamin C supplements and fruits 24 hours before the collection and biotin for at least 72 hours prior to the collection. Must draw before Schilling test, transfusions or B12 therapy is started.

    Test Results: 3-5 days. May take longer based on weather, holiday or lab delays.

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    Genetic Testing For Single

    Genetic testing for single-gene causes of dementia is available through the NHS.

    There are two different types of genetic testing diagnostic testing and predictive testing. These are used for different purposes.

    People affected by dementia can also use genetic testing for family planning.

    Diagnostic testing for dementia

    Why Put Yourself Through Years Of Worry

    Peter, 75, a retired engineer from Cheshire, spent six years caring for his wife at home after she was diagnosed with Alzheimers aged 62, until medical professionals told him he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown with the strain. After she went into a nursing home, he visited her every day until her recent death. It was heartbreaking. Shed cry when I left.

    Despite his experience, he believes a test for the disease may not be helpful. He says his wife was full of anxiety once she was diagnosed, and concerned about the impact it would have on both of them. She got very stressed out and worried about things, including that I might leave her, he says. All I could do was try to reassure her that I wouldnt. It was very distressing.

    As there is no cure for dementia, Peter also questions the point of such a test. Its one thing getting a test for something like cancer thats treatable. But why put yourself through 10 or 15 years of worry for something that you might not get anyway? I think its a really cruel thing to do.

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    Assessment For Dementia Usually Includes The Following:

    Personal history

    The doctor usually spends some time discussing your medical history and gathering information about your changes in memory and thinking.

    Physical examination and laboratory tests

    The symptoms of dementia can be due to a number of other possible causes, such as vitamin deficiency, infection, metabolic disorders and side effects from drugs.

    These other causes are often easily treated.

    Therefore, an early step in diagnosing dementia is to rule out these causes through a physical examination, blood tests and urine tests.

    Routine laboratory tests used in the diagnosis of dementia include:

    • Blood tests to investigate:
    • Drug interactions and dosing problems
  • Urine tests to investigate infection.
  • Cognitive testing

    Cognitive tests are used to measure and evaluate cognitive, or thinking, functions such as memory, concentration, visual-spatial awareness, problem solving, counting and language skills.

    Most doctors use short cognitive screening tests when assessing these functions. If more detailed testing is required you will be referred to a neuropsychologist a psychologist specialising in the assessment and measurement of cognitive function.

    Cognitive tests are vital in the diagnosis of dementia and are often used to differentiate between types of dementia. They can also be used to assess mood and may help diagnose depression, which can cause symptoms similar to those of dementia.


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