July 9, 2014 – SAGE
Anchor lead: Would you like to determine for yourself if you have dementia? Elizabeth Tracey reports
SAGE is the acronym for a self-administered questionnaire designed to spot Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia early on that’s been much in the news, with proponents waxing enthusiastic about the test’s utility. Not so Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert at Johns Hopkins.
Lyketsos: People determine that they’re abnormal and they become concerned and might not seek help. If everybody age 65 and older in the US started doing the SAGE test, the vast majority who came up positive would be fine. But we’d get a lot of worried, anxious people going to their doctors and not necessarily contributing anything of value. The way to do this now is through interacting with the medical profession. If you believe you have a problem don’t screen yourself at home, but go get evaluated in a clinical setting, where all of these parameters can at least be minimized. :31
Lyketsos says being assessed by a clinician also offers the best chance of access to new drugs and clinical trials that may help. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.