Researchers have developed a simple, self-administered, 15-minute test that they claim will help identify the early signs of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
(A new, do-it-yourself questionnaire-based test for dementia may revolutionize the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease, including its Alzheimer’s manifestation, researchers say.)

Results can then be shared with doctors to help spot early symptoms of cognitive issues.

“What we found was that this self-administered test correlated very well with detailed cognitive testing,” said Dr. Douglas Scharre, who developed the test with his team at Ohio State University.
“If we catch this cognitive change really early, then we can start potential treatments much earlier than without having this test. We can give the test periodically and, the moment we notice any changes in their cognitive abilities, we can intervene much more rapidly. We are finding better treatments, and we know that patients do much better if they start the treatments sooner than later.”
The test result cannot provide a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s, but a patient’s responses can flag up problems to doctors, which they can then monitor over time. Researchers believe it could be an effective tool for screening large numbers of people in the community.
“This test can also be taken at home by patients, who can then share the results with their physicians to help spot early symptoms of cognitive issues such as early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
“The pen-and-paper format allows it to be given in almost any setting, doesn’t require staff time to administer or to set up a computer, and makes it practical to rapidly screen large numbers of individuals in the community at the same time.”

Researchers found that four out of five people with mild cognitive, thinking and memory issues were detected by the test, while 95% of people without issues had normal SAGE scores.
Four sample questions from the 12-question SAGE test for dementia

1. What is today’s date? (from memory)
2. How are a watch and a ruler similar? Write down how they are alike
3. Write down the names of 12 different animals (don’t worry about spelling)
4. You are buying pounds $13.45 of groceries. How much change would you receive back from a $20 note?
The exam, which can be completed at home, by hand or online, tests language ability, reasoning, problem-solving skills and memory.