The SAGE dementia test, also known as the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam, is a short cognitive assessment tool designed to help detect early signs of cognitive impairment and dementia.
The SAGE test includes several features that make useful as a screening tool:
Features of the SAGE Dementia Test
- Self-administered: The cognitive test can be taken by the person being screened, without the need for a healthcare professional to administer it.
- Brief: Only 15 minutes to needed to complete the test.
- Simple language: It uses easy-to-understand language minimizing confusion and helping ensure responses are accurate.
- Four cognitive domains: Cognitive function are assessed in four key domains. These are orientation, language, memory, and visuospatial ability.
- Cultural neutrality: It is designed to be culturally neutral, meaning it can be utilized by people from diverse backgrounds and languages.
- Scoring system: The test has a scoring system that helps to interpret results and identify dementia.
Note that the SAGE dementia test is not a diagnostic tool. A thorough evaluation by a qualified medical professional is required to determine a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment.
Administering the SAGE Dementia Test?
The test has four parts, each of which includes questions or tasks that patients must do. Here are examples of questions/tasks that patients may be asked to complete during the SAGE test:
- Orientation: Questions to gauge orientation to time and place, such as “What is today’s date?” or “Where are we right now?”
- Language: Name common items, recall the names of animals, and describe similarities between objects.
- Reasoning: Solve simple mathematical problems, identify the next number in a sequence, and follow a set of instructions.
- Visuospatial skills: Draw a clock face and set the time to a specific hour, and to identify the missing parts in a picture.
In addition, the SAGE dementia test includes questions that evaluate executive function, such as identifying the appropriate word to complete a sentence and recalling details from a short story.
Scoring and Interpreting the SAGE Cognitive Assessment
Scoring and interpreting the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam typically involves the following steps:
Each question is scored independently, with the total number of correct responses providing a raw score. A higher score indicates better cognitive function.
The raw score is then converted to a standardized score based on age and education level. This identifies and accounts for potential biases and differences in cognitive function that are based on demographic factors.
The standardized score can then be matched to cut-off scores to identify the likelihood of dementia. For example, a score below a certain level may signal a need for further evaluation or referral to a specialist.
While the SAGE test does provide valuable information about cognitive function, it is important to note that it should be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tools and clinical judgment to establish a diagnosis of cognitive impairment.
Overall, scoring and interpreting the SAGE dementia test demands careful attention to the specific questions and response options, as well as consideration of demographics and other diagnostic information. It is important to utilize a healthcare professional who is trained in the use and interpretation of cognitive tests to make certain cognitive function is accurately and appropriately assessed.
Health Professionals Planning
If the results of the SAGE exam indicate cognitive impairment, healthcare professionals may use this information to create a plan for further evaluation and treatment. These steps include:
Referral for additional testing
If the results suggest cognitive impairment, the patient will likely be referred for further testing to help establish the cause and severity of the impairment. This may be a more comprehensive cognitive test, blood tests or brain imaging.
Referral to a specialist
Subject to the suspected cause of the cognitive impairment, the patient may be referred to a neurologist, neuropsychologist, or geriatrician, for further assessment and treatment.
From the results of the SAGE exam and any additional assessments, healthcare professionals may work with the patient and their caregivers to establish a treatment plan. This may include medications to manage underlying conditions or symptoms, cognitive training and rehabilitation, and lifestyle modifications.
Monitoring and follow-up
Cognitive impairment and dementia are progressive conditions, so healthcare professionals may schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor cognitive function and modify treatment plans as required.
Limitations of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam
The test is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool on its own, but rather as a screening tool that can assist with identifying individuals who may gain from further evaluation. The SAGE test is only the beginning of the process. Further assessment will be required before a treatment plan can be put into place.
Download the SAGE Dementia Test
Download the SAGE dementia test HERE.
The SAGE test is difficult to administer online. You would need to download a test in your language and print it out to administer. If you are looking for an online test, then you may like to use the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). The MMSE test is a similar test that can be administered by a person who is not trained. It also takes only 15 minutes. Here is a link to the online MMSE test.
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is a simple, convenient, and effective tool for assessing dementia across several domains. It can help individuals and healthcare professionals identify probable cognitive impairment and take appropriate actions to address it.
It is important to note that the SAGE test is not a diagnostic tool on its own and should be used in combination with other assessment tools and clinical evaluation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing cognitive decline or has concerns about cognitive function, it’s necessary to seek professional medical advice.
Acting early can make a significant difference in managing cognitive impairment and improving quality of life.
There are a variety of tests for assessing cognitive decline. This article explains and compares 5 different dementia tests.