Predicting Alzheimer's with just a pen and paper - New York News

Predicting Alzheimer's with just a pen and paper

Posted: Updated:
(WJBK) -

How can a simple pen and paper help diagnose Alzheimer's disease? As the number of Americans living with this devastating disease starts to surpass five million people, doctors say this home test could change lives.  

Even though Emily Shornstein spends much of her retirement traveling the world, she still finds time to help with medical research. She is a retired nurse who volunteers for studies involving Alzheimer's disease, which can sometimes be very invasive.

"I've done MRIs and CAT scans and even an LP, a lumbar puncture," she says.  

But now she's testing a new approach, one that involves simply a pen, paper and a few minutes of her time. It's called a SAGE test and a new study show it can reveal volumes about a patient's mind.

"What we found was that this SAGE self-administered test correlated very well with the very detailed cognitive testing," says Dr. Douglas Scharre from Oakland State University's Wexler Medical Center.

He and his team developed the test and gave it to more than one thousand patients over five years. They found that nearly 30 percent of people tested showed early signs of cognitive problems they didn't know they had. By repeating the test from time to time, doctors now have a cheap and easy way to monitor their patients and detect even slight changes in their cognitive ability.

"If we see this change we can catch it really early and we can start treatments much earlier than we did without a test," says Dr. Scharre. Early treatment is crucial; studies show most Alzheimer's patients wait three to four years before being treated.

Doctors say the 12 question test itself does not diagnose Alzheimer's but it's a screening tool that can help them track a patients cognitive abilities very closely. This is a test patients can take at home, which saves time and money.

LINK: Click here to download a copy of the SAGE test>>

The test does not have an answer key. You take the test to your doctor to analyze your cognitive abilities over time.

  • Deena CentofantiMore>>

  • Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Thursday, October 3 2013 6:30 PM EDT2013-10-03 22:30:09 GMT
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
  • The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 5:24 PM EDT2013-03-26 21:24:38 GMT
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
  • Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Tuesday, December 4 2012 4:11 PM EST2012-12-04 21:11:01 GMT
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:33:11 GMT
    New Haven police say they have charged a Westbrook with making a hoax call in November to say an armed man was heading to shoot up Yale University.
    Police say they have charged a Connecticut man with making a call in November in which he falsely claimed an armed man was on his way to shoot up Yale University. New Haven police said Wednesday that 50-year-old Jeffrey Jones, of Westbrook, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, threatening, reckless endangerment, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace.
  • Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Camilla's brother dies in New York after head injury

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:10:58 GMT
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
    The brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has died after sustaining a serious head injury following a fall in New York, British royal officials said Wednesday. Clarence House said that the 62-year-old Mark Shand died in the hospital Wednesday after falling late Tuesday.
  • Port Authority could rescind $1 NJ Transit lease

    Port Authority could rescind $1 NJ Transit lease

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:57:07 GMT
    NJ TransitNJ Transit
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is holding its monthly board meeting, two days after it heard from a panel on what it needs to do to improve its accountability and efficiency and restore public trust.
    The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey could rescind a $1-a-year lease for a park-and-ride lot near the Lincoln Tunnel. The agency's chief of real estate and development told a committee Wednesday that it should change a deal made in 2012. Published reports have alleged that former Port Authority chairman David Samson voted to approve the lease even though his law firm did business with New Jersey Transit, which operates the park-and-ride lot.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices