Study: Test detects signs of dementia at least six months earlier than standard method

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A study published Monday concluded that a self-administered test detected signs of potential dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, at least six months before the standard testing method, suggesting that the test could help doctors diagnose patients earlier.

The self-administered gerocognitive examination (SAGE) test detected signs of cognitive impairment months earlier in patients than the often used mini mental status examination (MMSE), according to research published in the journal “Alzheimer’s. Research & Therapy “.

The study involved more than 600 participants who visited the Center for Cognitive and Memory Disorders at Ohio State University for eight years, who had at least two visits six months apart, and who took SAGE tests and MMSE.

Of those who developed dementia during the study period, the researchers determined that the first “significant drop” in SAGE scores occurred on average 14.4 months after they were first taken the tests.

MMSE scores, on the other hand, for people ultimately diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease saw the first “significant drop” to an average of 20.4 months since the initial tests. Among people later diagnosed with another form of dementia, the standard test detected the decline on average 32.9 months after the first tests.

Those who had Alzheimer’s disease when they took the first tests saw their first major decline about 8.3 months from the initial SAGE test, compared to 14.4 months for the MMSE results.

Lead author Douglas Scharre, director of the cognitive neurology division at Ohio State University, told The Hill he helped develop the SAGE test because of his “frustration” when patients arrived with an disease which had worsened in recent years.

“They were just too late, and I thought we needed something better, something specific but more practical,” said Scharre. “And so the way to do it is self-administered. “

“By the time it is obvious to everyone, they have generally progressed further than we would like,” he added. “And so now that we have potential disease modification treatments that are actually available, the need to identify people earlier is really critical.”

The SAGE test aims to track patients’ thinking processes and identify symptoms of cognitive impairment beyond normal aging.

But the exam itself is not diagnostic and cannot determine whether a patient has Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia, and scientists recommend that patients take the test in the doctor’s office. their doctor for analysis.

Patients who develop mild cognitive impairment do not automatically develop Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia.

The SAGE test would report “significant” cognitive decline if a patient’s score drops two or three points within about 12 to 18 months, Scharre said.

As a self-administered test, the SAGE test can be performed in any location, including at home or in waiting rooms, and therefore does not take the time of doctors.

The paper version of the SAGE test is free. The digital version is available through BrainTest.

The research into the SAGE test comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the first Alzheimer’s disease drug in nearly 20 years in a controversial decision. Biogen’s drug Aduhelm is designed for people with mild cognitive impairment.

But the FDA’s decision has come under close scrutiny with two House committees investigating the clearance that came after an advisory group unanimously opposed the drug.

Aduhelm, priced at $ 56,000 per year, is also linked in part to an expected increase in health insurance premiums for 2022. In response, Sen. Bernie sandersBernie Sanders WTO comes under scrutiny amid omicron threat Overnight Healthcare – Brought to you by March of Dimes – Access to abortion for 65 million women at stake (I-Vt.) Called President BidenJoe Biden: China considers military base on Africa’s Atlantic coast: Biden report orders flags to be hoisted half-length until December 9 to honor Dole Biden traveling to Kansas City to promote PLUS infrastructure package last week to delay Medicare approval for the use of Aduhelm.


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