News / Health

Free, Simple Test Screens for Memory, Thinking Problems

TEXT SIZE - +
Art Chimes
A new study confirms that a self-administered, paper-and-pen test can be a reliable tool to screen large numbers of older adults for possible memory and thinking problems.

Tests that evaluate a person’s cognitive functioning - how they think and remember - are not new. But Douglas Scharre, who heads the Memory Disorders Research Center at Ohio State University, says most of these tests require a trained administrator, so they can be expensive. And some people are uncomfortable being asked questions face-to-face when they may not know the answer.

Emily Schornstein of Columbus, Ohio, takes a self-administered test designed to spot symptoms of cognitive issues like Alzheimer's disease. (Courtesy The Ohio State University)Emily Schornstein of Columbus, Ohio, takes a self-administered test designed to spot symptoms of cognitive issues like Alzheimer's disease. (Courtesy The Ohio State University)
x
Emily Schornstein of Columbus, Ohio, takes a self-administered test designed to spot symptoms of cognitive issues like Alzheimer's disease. (Courtesy The Ohio State University)
Emily Schornstein of Columbus, Ohio, takes a self-administered test designed to spot symptoms of cognitive issues like Alzheimer's disease. (Courtesy The Ohio State University)
“The point was to do a self-administered test so that it would be easy for the physicians," Scharre said. "And the hope was that we could identify people sooner, and then get them evaluated [and] treated much sooner than was currently being done.”

Researchers previously found that the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) test can be a reliable screening tool. In a new research paper, Scharre and his colleagues report the test could be used effectively for mass screenings, such as at health fairs or community events.

Giving the test does not require any experts or fancy equipment, just a pen and the four-page test form that asks straightforward questions designed to evaluate a variety of brain functions.

“The questions include orientation questions - you know, day and date, things like that. Naming some objects...some calculations,” Scharre said. “Visual-spatial part of the brain: measuring how you can draw things. Plus memory and more...and it takes less than 15 minutes to complete."

Scharre stresses that the SAGE test is designed to screen for possible cognitive problems among older adults. It is not a test for Alzheimer's disease or any other specific problem.

“So, it is not a diagnostic test for any condition. It just sort of measures how you are thinking.”

The test is free, and is starting to be made available in other languages, as well as English.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid