At-home Alzheimer's test could track mental decline

6:45 AM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
(AP)
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(WXIA) -- Some aging people often wonder if their memories are failing them -- and if this could be a sign of something more serious.

Emily Shornstein, an 80-year-old retired nurse, loves to spend time with family and travel; she's been all over the world.

Her latest adventure is part of her longtime passion for learning. Shornstein is participating in a study about Mild Cognitive Impairment, those small changes in the brain that might ultimately lead to Alzheimer's disease.

She is one of more than 1,000 people over the age of 50 who took one of several short exams developed by researchers at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The tests are showing some promise at identifying cognitive issues early. Researchers say it's a tool for anyone concerned about their own or a loved one's memory loss.

This so-called SAGE test is free and available for download at sagetest.osu.edu.

Once printed, the simple four-page exam measures skills, problem-solving, language and more. The answers are online, so test-takers can track their scores and progress.

Researchers say anyone 62 or older should take the test once a year as a good way to track decline, but it's only one way to identify a potential problem.

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(NBC News)

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