Using SAGE to Detect Mild Cognitive Impairment Earlier: Douglas Scharre, MD


Outlining the findings from a recent study comparing SAGE to the Mini-Mental State Examination, the director of the Division of Cognitive and Memory Disorders at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center stressed the importance of identifying patients at-risk for dementia early on. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

“Our hypothesis was that SAGE would do better than a Mini-Mental State Exam; it was designed that way. It was designed to pick up mild cognitive impairment, whereas the Mini-Mental State is not really great at doing that. So, our thought was that we should be able to pick up people that would eventually develop dementia earlier, and that's, in fact, what we found.”

The utility of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is in its ability to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) earlier on, allowing for treatment and therapies to be implemented closer to the onset of dementia. Douglas Scharre, MD, director, Division of Cognitive and Memory Disorders, department of neurology, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, discussed findings from recent study of SAGE in comparison with the Mini-Mental State Exam, where investigators concluded SAGE could detect early dementia at least 6 months sooner than its comparator. 

In the first 6 months of publication, SAGE was downloaded over 1 million times, Scharre said, signaling that there is a demand for assessments to help understand MCI, whether that concern is coming from the patient, a spouse, or another family member. The test is also an effective tool for providers in treating the “worried well,” allowing them to screen concerned patients and provide validated results to allay fears. 

Scharre also mentioned the application of SAGE and its digital companion, BrainTest, before and after chemotherapy to detect cognitive issues. According to Scharre, the assessment aids in understanding whether or not treatment is impacting a patient’s brain, being easily accessed for use online or in hardcopy form. 

Scharre DW, Chang S, Nagaraja HN, Wheeler NC, Kataki M. Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination: longitudinal cohort testing for the early detection of dementia conversion. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2021;13(1):192. doi:10.1186/s13195-021-00930-4
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