Senior Moment or Something Worse? Yes/No Test May Tell
Test Can Help Identify People at High Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Questionaire Needs Further Testing, Says Doctor
The new tool is “a quick and simple-to-use indicator that may help physicians determine which individuals should be referred for more extensive testing," says researcher Michael Malek-Ahmadi, MSPH, in a news release.
“We are all looking for more tools that anyone can use to tell us is this age-related changes and not a big deal or is this person at risk for Alzheimer’s disease,” says Richard S. Isaacson, MD. He is a neurologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “This is not a major blood test or spinal tap, but it is something that anyone can do.”
The stakes are high. “The earlier you diagnose Alzheimer’s or MCI, the earlier you treat and the better patients will do,” he says. Lifestyle changes including exercising regularly can help protect memory among people with MCI and possibly prevent it from progressing to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
With a better idea of risk, “we can be more aggressive in terms of anything that is evidence-proven and safe for prevention,” Isaacson tells WebMD.
"Everyone would like a simple, useful [mental] screen that could be used by primary care physicians,” says Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, in an email. He is the Mount Sinai chair in Alzheimer's disease research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
The new tool “appears to fulfill the essential criterion of convenience. What must now be done is lots of field testing by various independent groups to see whether [it] might give misleading results," he says.