Have you been forgetting more than just your car keys lately? Mild memory loss and longer recall times are natural as you age. But it’s hard not to want to jump to conclusions about memory loss in situations like these.
But before you do, there is a self-administered test designed by experts at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center that could help you determine whether it’s time to seek additional help.
The SAGE test, which stands for Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam, only requires a pen and paper and takes about 15 minutes to complete. There are four different versions of the test, but you only have to complete one. According to the test’s creators, you should not look at a clock or calendar while taking the test nor should you ask anyone for assistance. You should answer all questions with your best try, without consulting any other resources.
Questions on the test range from name recall to simple mathematical questions to drawing to making lists. The test may seem simple enough, but your results could provide helpful information for your doctor. The maximum SAGE score is 22, with anything above 17 considered in the “normal” range.
The SAGE test is not a medical diagnostic tool but rather a screening instrument used to identify possible memory impairment. A 2010 study published in “Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders” showed that the SAGE test had 79-percent sensitivity for detecting those over 59 with cognitive impairments. Many people don’t seek out the help they need for memory loss and dementia. The SAGE test is a simple, accessible way to approach the subject with your primary care physician. If you or a loved one is worried about memory loss, download and print one of the free SAGE exams here today. Make sure to take it with you the next time you visit your primary care physician.