What Do I Do After I Take The Test
After you complete the test, take it to your primary care physician. Your doctor will score it and interpret the results. Your doctor may schedule some tests to further evaluate your symptoms or refer you for further evaluation.
If your score does not indicate any need for further evaluation, your doctor can keep the test on file as a baseline for the future. That means, you can take the test again in the future, and the doctor can see if there are any changes over time.
There is no answer sheet provided here for you to score yourself because there are multiple correct answers to many of the questions on the test. SAGE should be scored by your physician.
If you don’t have a primary care physician, view our list of primary care providers accepting new patients.
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.
The Brief Alzheimer’s Screening Test
This short screening asks the test taker to repeat three words immediately after hearing them. Next, two tasks that distract from those three words are performed: a short version of the verbal fluency test where the person is asked to name as many animals as they can in 30 seconds and spelling “WORLD” backward. Finally, the person is asked to remember and recite the three words from the beginning of the screening process.
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What About Amyloid Brain Pet Scans
Maybe youre thinking about having an FDA-approved amyloid brain PET scan. These tests involve the injection of a radioactive dye attached to a molecule that sticks to amyloid plaques in the brain. The radioactivity is then measured by special imaging technology, similar to a CT scan.
Should you get one? You could, but there are two issues to consider. First, they are not paid for by insurance and they cost about $5,000 so you either have to pay out of pocket or join a research study at a National Institute on Aging Alzheimers Disease Research Center, where you might get one for free. Second, how would the information help you?
No special amyloid brain scans are needed for the straightforward diagnosis and treatment of memory loss. If you are having significant symptoms of memory loss, such as those mentioned above, talk with your doctor about them. Your doctor will likely evaluate your overall health and the medications you take, then do some standard blood tests and brain scans as well as pencil and paper testing. Based on the results of those tests, your doctor may start you on a medication intended to boost your memory function.
Perhaps you dont have any symptoms of Alzheimers disease today, but one of your parents had it. Should you get an amyloid brain scan to find out if you are likely to develop Alzheimers in the future?
Frequently Asked Questions About Alzheimers Disease
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Is There A Test For Alzheimers Disease
- By Andrew E. Budson, MD, Contributor
After spending 30 minutes hunting for your car in a parking lot, or getting lost on a familiar route, have you ever considered asking your doctor for a blood test or brain scan to find out if you have Alzheimers disease?
A number of factors contribute to Alzheimers disease. By definition, this form of dementia involves the buildup of a protein in brain called beta-amyloid. Beta-amyloid forms plaques that disrupt communication between brain cells, and ultimately destroys them. For this reason, tests for Alzheimers disease focus on beta-amyloid.
What Is The Sage Test
A test called the self-administered gerocognitive exam can be used to check if you have symptoms of mild cognitive impairment , which is characterized by a minor deterioration in mental abilities, including memory. A person with MCI is at risk of developing Alzheimers disease and other dementias. About 10 to 15 percent of individuals with MCI progress to develop dementia each year.
Symptoms of MCI include:
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What Kind Of Doctor Tests For Dementia
A primary care doctor can perform a physical exam and find out more about your symptoms to determine what may be the cause. They will likely refer you to one or several specialists that can perform specific tests to diagnose dementia. Specialists may include neurologists, who specialize in the brain and nervous system psychiatrists or psychologists, who specialize in mental health, mental functions, and memory or geriatricians, who specialize in healthcare for older adults.
What Causes Dementia To Progress So Quickly
Dementia symptoms are typically mild at first and progress over time to moderate and then severe, over several years. The speed as which dementia progresses varies between individuals, but some factors can cause dementia to progress more quickly. These include the persons age, the type of dementia, and other long term health problems. Dementia tends to progress more slowly in people over 65 compared to younger people below 65.
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How To Take The Sage Test
If you are taking the paper version of the test, youll find four slightly different variations of the test on the official website. It doesnt matter which one you take. The test consists of four pages. Print it out and answer the questions in ink without the assistance of others. Don’t look at a clock or calendar while taking the test and just do the best you can.
You can take the test in virtually any setting. It will usually take about 10 to 15 minutes but theres no set time limit.
Its important not to cheat in order to get a better assessment.
In some cases, you might choose to take the test at your doctors office where it can be evaluated right away.
What Is The Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease was originally identified by a German physician called Alois Alzheimers in 1907. It is a progressive neurodegenerative condition and one of the most common types of dementia that slowly declines a persons memory, behavior, thinking and reasoning capabilities. The overall effect is that the patient is unable to fully perform simple day to day task and to effectively communicate.
The illness usually afflicts 1 in every 9 adults aged 65 and above and an overall estimation of about 5 million Americans. Alzheimers symptoms may appear in the 30s and mid-60s ages. The symptoms if not noticed and treated early develop slowly and can get worse over time causing the patient condition to get severe.
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Other Scans And Procedures To Diagnose Dementia
Other types of scan, such as a SPECT scan or a PET scan, may be recommended if the result of your MRI or CT scan is uncertain.
However, most people will not need these types of scans.
Both SPECT and PET scans look at how the brain functions, and can pick up abnormalities with the blood flow in the brain.
If a specialist is worried that epilepsy may be causing the dementia symptoms, an EEG may be taken to record the brain’s electrical signals , but this is rare.
Page last reviewed: 3 July 2020 Next review due: 3 July 2023
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.
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Blood Tests For Alzheimers Disease Are Being Developed
Recently, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis measured the levels of beta-amyloid in the blood of 158 mostly normal people .
When they compared their findings with those of amyloid brain PET scans performed within 18 months of the blood draw, they found very similar results. Moreover, the few people in their study who had a positive blood test and negative brain scan were actually 21 times more likely to have a positive brain scan in the future. This means that the new blood test may be extremely sensitive at detecting Alzheimers disease that is, it results in few false negatives.
If youre worried about your memory, should you ask your doctor for this test? Not yet the blood test is still being evaluated and is not currently available for clinical use.
Pros And Cons Of The Mmse
Pros: Useful in multiple ways. The MMSE can be used to screen for suspected dementia, so someone who suspects theyre developing the disease might take it it estimates the stage and severity of dementia for someone who has the disease and it can show changes over time if taken every year or so. Easy to administer. No special equipment or training is necessary. Short and simple. The test only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Cons: Less reliability. An educated person with dementia, for instance, might be able to score above 24. Not sensitive to Mild Cognitive Impairment. MMSE does not do a good job detecting Mild Cognitive Impairment or early dementia. Someone in the beginning stages, in other words, can still achieve a high score. Requires a certain level of education. Someone with a sub-eighth-grade level of education should not take the MMSE, because low educational experience can lead to a misdiagnosis.
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What Is The Clock Test For Dementia
The clock test is a non-verbal screening tool that may be used as part of the assessment for dementia, Alzheimers, and other neurological problems. The clock test screens for cognitive impairment. The individual being screened is asked to draw a clock with the hour and minute hands pointing to a specific time. Research has shown that six potential errors in the clock testthe wrong time, no hands, missing numbers, number substitutions, repetition, and refusalcould be indicative of dementia.
Memory Tests Doctors Use For Dementia
The idea that your memory might be slipping is a scary one indeed. Its not always accurate, however, and there are memory tests that doctors can use to test whether its actually happening or not.
A certain amount of forgetfulness is normal as we grow older. We may forget someones name or fail to pay a bill. Such memory lapses are mild and usually a normal part of aging. We have all had instances of losing track of our keys and not remembering the name of the movie we saw last month.
For me, Ive always been great with peoples faces, but their names, or even worse dates forget about it .
There are, however, more serious signs that our short-term memory is failing and that we need to discuss the situation with a doctor. How do we tell the difference?
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Information For Your Doctor
Itâs a good idea to put together the following for your first appointment:
- A list of symptoms — include everything youâre feeling, even if you donât think it could be related to dementia
- Any sources of major stress or recent life changes
- A list of all medications you take, including vitamins and supplements, and the dosage
- A list of any questions you have
Who Should Consider Taking The Sage Test
According to Scharre, anyone who is experiencing memory, language, problem-solving, or thinking problems should consider taking SAGE.
This may be especially important if you are noticing very mild symptoms, since SAGE is designed to pick up early deficits and allow your healthcare providers to diagnose and manage any potential conditions at an early stage,” he explains.
Friends or family members may want to encourage a loved to take the test if they notice issues related to memory or thinking.
You may also wish to take a SAGE to establish a baseline cognitive assessment to use for comparison in the future if you have a family history of dementia or thinking problems.
Typically, we would suggest repeating the test every six months unless significant cognitive changes are occurring,” advises Scharre.
You can download the test for free at the Wexner Medical Center website.
Theres also a digital version made for tablets produced by a company called BrainTest. It consists of identical test questions. This version is scored by a panel and results are sent to you so can take them to your primary care physician for further discussion. You can download the electronic version at BrainTest.com.
What Is A 30
The 30-question test for dementia is called the Mini Mental State Examination or MMSE, reports Alzheimers Society. The MMSE is used by physicians to evaluate concentration, memory and language to determine if a patient has dementia or to assess how fast a patients dementia is developing.
The highest score possible on the test is 30. A score of 27 or higher is considered standard. Scores between 10 and 20 are moderate, and scores less than 10 are considered severe, notes Alzheimers Society. Nonetheless, a low score on the MMSE does not always mean the patient has dementia, as other conditions may be present.
How To Test For Dementia
This article was co-authored by Jurdy Dugdale, RN. Jurdy Dugdale is a Registered Nurse in Florida. She received her Nursing License from the Florida Board of Nursing in 1989.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 217,884 times.
Although it’s not a clearly defined disease, dementia is usually diagnosed when a person experiences a steep mental decline that interferes with their everyday life. It causes issues with memory and cognitive abilities, which can be debilitating.XTrustworthy SourceAlzheimer’s AssociationNonprofit organizaton focused on supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s and promoting research on the diseaseGo to source While it’s common, dementia is also hard to diagnose, so you’ll need to work with a doctor. A friend or family member can administer the Mini-Mental State Exam for a general idea of cognitive function, but a doctor can make best use of the results.
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How Does A Doctor Test For Dementia
There is no single diagnostic test for Alzheimers disease and other causes of dementia. Dementias are diagnosed by evaluating and understanding a persons memory and thinking patterns. Doctors will consider a persons memory, grasp of language, mood states, problem-solving skills, ability to maintain focus and perform complex tasks. Evaluation may include in-office cognitive screening , physical examination, and review of labs. Labwork helps to determine whether there are vitamin deficiencies or hormonal changes at play. In some cases, evaluation may require neuropsychological testing, brain imaging , and genetic testing.
Is Dementia A Mental Illness
Dementia is a mental health disorder as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name to Major Neurocognitive Disorder, which is a mouthful. The change was made in order to provide a clearer description of the problem. Whats most important to know is that dementias can involve changes to emotions, behaviors, perceptions, and movements in addition to memory and thinking.
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