There is a new test to help discover the early warning signs of the devastating disease known as Alzheimer’s. The SAGE self test for Alzheimer’s can be done by any adult in the privacy of a house. It requires a piece of paper, a pen and 10 to 15 minutes of a person’s time. Family members can help by downloading the test for their friends and loved ones.
The test was developed by researchers at Ohio State University. The letters SAGE stand for Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination. It can be downloaded and printed out from any computer.
Instructions on how to take the test are included on the page. There are four different variations of the test. People are given the option to choose whichever one is more comfortable. They are interchangeable, and all of them will provide the best result possible. It is up to a physician to decide on the diagnosis and further care, testing, or treatment once the Alzheimer’s SAGE self test is handed in. A list of physicians can be found on the website.
The tests are available in English, Spanish and Italian. Interpreters are available for Chinese, Russian, and Somali. Unfortunately, there are no Japanese or Korean interpreters at this time. As a side note, interpreters and translators can be located by contacting a local Embassy or community program.
Why take the test? Discovering Alzheimer’s in the early stages is easier on family members, medical teams and the person taking the test. This brutal disease, if caught in the early stages, can give someone time to get everything in place that will be needed in the coming years. Legal paperwork, medical power of attorney, care provider options and medicines are just a few of the issues that will need to be addressed.
Finding out about Alzheimer’s in the early stages also gives a person the opportunity to pursue options that may not exist after the disease has progressed into the second and third stages. These options could include chip implants into the brain, though this is not yet a main stream solution. As Alzheimer’s continues to impact a growing number of people, the thinking on this electronic memory chip may change. The chip, however, is only effective in the early stages of the disease.
Being able to take the Alzheimer’s SAGE self test is considered a blessing by many. It is easy to understand, given the stigma placed on the disease itself. It is a frightening and heart breaking process that Alzheimer’s patients and their families live through. As a family member of an Alzheimer’s patient, it is important to know if someone is in the early stages simply for the sake of some peoples concern regarding the hereditary component of the disease. Taking the test and finding out that a person is in the clear will provide some peace, at least for a little while.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s used to be a long and drawn out process. The test took days, and then it would be yet another week before a diagnosis could be reached. It was usually too late by the time testing was even considered to do any reliable and substantial treatment.
The Alzheimer’s SAGE self-test is an easy and effective way to help combat this disease. Testing for early stage Alzheimer’s is one more step towards confronting this vicious life altering disease. In this case, the more that is known ahead of time could make all the difference in the world.
by Saki Kahala