News / Health

Free, Simple Test Screens for Memory, Thinking Problems

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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid