Ohio study says a self-test can predict early dementia sooner

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Frank Rupnik looks at family photos with his wife, Nancy, in their Delaware, Ohio home. Frank was diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and takes the digital Brain Test on a tablet every six months that informs his neurologist about any changes in cognition or needed adjustments in treatment.

 Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner say a self-administered test identifies the early, subtle signs of dementia sooner than standard testing, according to a new study.

“New treatments are currently being developed in clinical trials and we know that the earlier cognitive impairment is detected, the more treatment choices a patient has and the better they work,” said Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of the Division of Cognitive Neurology at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center.

The study was over eight years long and followed more than 600 patients at Ohio State’s Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders.

The study found that the SAGE test accurately identified patients with mild cognitive impairment who eventually progressed to a dementia diagnosis at least six months earlier than the most commonly used testing method.

The researchers say that since the test is self-administered it can be taken anywhere and can be monitored over time with repeated testing.

“Any time you or your family member notices a change in your brain function or personality you should take the SAGE test,” Scharre said. “If that patient takes the test every six months and their score drops two or three points over a year and a half, that is a significant difference, and their doctor can use that information to evaluate if there should be a diagnosis or to make decisions on treatments.”

Scharre has worked closely with BrainTest Inc SEZC, who developed a scientifically validated digital version of the SAGE test called BrainTest that can be taken anywhere on a tablet or touch screen computer.  If you’re worried about memory issues, you can access SAGE or BrainTest at wexnermedical.osu.edu/SAGE.

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