How does the self-administered gerocognitive exam (SAGE) test work?

Answer: The self-administered gerocognitive exam (SAGE) is a short, 15 minute test of cognitive function that can be used to prediagnose mild cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease.

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The SAGE is a test that is can be performed at home using a pen and paper. It uses specific questions to assess several different classes of cognitive skills, ranging from language, memory recall, and complex problem solving. The exam itself is short, from start to finish takes about 15 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the test, the exam does not provide a diagnosis. Instead, the results need to be brought into a clinician to make the final diagnosis.

The test itself consists of 12 questions that ask the patient to complete simple tasks, such as drawing a clock or naming items that belong in a kitchen. If the person did not successfully complete half of these tasks, they should bring their exam results in to their medical doctor, who can more fully evaluate their condition.

The results of the SAGE test are useful for catching the early symptoms of cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease. The main purpose of the test is to pre-emptively detect early symptoms of these cognitive disorders to that they can be tracked over the upcoming years after a therapy is delivered.

The SAGE test was developed by some research scientists and clinicians at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Douglas Scharre was the lead clinician who developed the exam. The exam is useful for establishing a baseline that can be compared as the symptoms either improve or worsen.