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Development of SAGE for Early Dementia Detection: Douglas Scharre, MD

SAP Partner | <b>The Ohio State University- Wexner Medical Center</b>

The director of the Division of Cognitive and Memory Disorders at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center discussed motivations behind creating the pen-and-paper test, as well as its digital companion. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

“The reason I developed and invented this test was because, as a neurologist, seeing cognitively impaired patients and/or with memory disorders, the number of individuals that would come into our clinic that had had issues for 3-4 years by the time they actually came to see us. It was clear to me that patients weren't right on top of it all the time, and primary care doctors weren't always referring.”

Detecting signs of dementia early can have a crucial impact on patients’ outcomes, allowing for health care providers to intervene with resources and treatment, if necessary. Several tests have emerged to identify signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), with the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) recently showing success in a longitudinal study of its efficacy compared to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

Douglas Scharre, MD, director, Division of Cognitive and Memory Disorders, department of neurology, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss SAGE, which is a pen-and-paper assessment, and its digital companion assessment, BrainTest, which can be performed on a tablet or touchscreen computer. According to Scharre, he was prompted to develop SAGE and BrainTest upon recognizing that patients had cognitive issues that had persisted for several years and had not sought treatment, therefore creating a delay in their identification and treatment. 

Also discussed were findings from the study, where investigators concluded that SAGE identified MCI conversion to dementia at least 6 months ahead of the MMSE, which is not self-administered. The patients that were identified as being likely to eventually develop dementia had a 2- to 3-point decline in SAGE scores 12-18 months from baseline, which was a significant decline, Scharre said.