Page 7 - Miles for Memories Dementia Booklet 2022
P. 7

informant-based assessment because instead of the patient being questioned, the patient’s informant (usually a spouse, child, or non-family caregiver) is asked to assess whether there have been changes in the past few years in certain areas of cognition and functioning. These include memory, orientation, executive function, and interest in activities. The AD8 has
a yes or no format and takes only three minutes or so to complete. It compares conditions over time and is meant to be repeated.
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) is designed to be used at home and then brought to a physician for review after completion.
It evaluates several different areas including memory, orientation, executive functioning, language and naming abilities, and visual-spatial abilities.
It’s free and you can get it on the Ohio State University website. There’s no time limit, but most people finish in about 15 minutes.
The Mini-Cog is a rapid Alzheimer’s screening test that takes only 3-5 minutes to administer. It combines 3-item recall with the clock-drawing test and can help to determine whether someone should seek additional testing to identify a dementia diagnosis.
The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is widely used and reliable in detecting Alzheimer’s disease, available since 1975. Taking about 10 minutes
to complete, the MMSE measures aspects of cognition that include orientation, word recall, attention and calculation, language abilities, and visual construction.
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a relatively simple, brief test that helps health professionals determine quickly whether a person has abnormal cognitive function and may need a
more thorough diagnostic workup for Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike the MMSE, the MoCA includes a clock-drawing test and a test of executive function. It may predict dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and it has been shown to identify cognitive problems in people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
The Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam (SLUMS) is an 11-item Alzheimer’s screening test that is
especially good at identifying people with milder cognitive problems that don’t yet rise to the level of dementia. It has been studied with hundreds of Veterans and includes items such as the naming of animals (similar to a verbal fluency test) and recognition of geometric figures.
The Clock-Drawing Test for Alzheimer’s is a simple test that is often incorporated into other Alzheimer’s screening tests. The person is asked to draw a clock, put in all the numbers, and set the hands. Abnormal clock drawing tests suggest problems with memory, executive function, or visuospatial abilities.
The Brief Alzheimer’s Screening (BAS) Test is a short screening and asks the test taker to repeat three words immediately after hearing them. Next, two tasks that distract from those three words are performed: a short version of the verbal fluency test where the person is asked to name as many animals as they can in 30 seconds and spelling “WORLD” backward. Finally, the person is asked
to remember and recite the three words from the beginning of the screening process.
The 7-Minute Screening test has been shown to be effective in identifying mild cognitive impairment, a condition that sometimes escapes detection with other screening tests. The 7-Minute Screening involves enhanced cued recall, orientation questions, verbal fluency, and the clock test.
When it’s time for a full diagnostic evaluation and you are ready to meet with a medical professional be prepared to answer questions such as:
• What kind of symptoms have you noticed?
• When did they begin?
• How often do they happen? • Have they gotten worse?
One or more of the following will be utilized to try and best diagnose the type of dementia:
• Medical history
• Physical exam and diagnostic tests
• Neurological exam
• Mental cognitive status tests
• Brain imaging
• Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests
• Blood tests
When a positive dementia diagnosis
is the result treatment options can be established and steps can be taken from paperwork to care plans to manage symptoms and possibly delay progression of the disease.
The good news is that we now know that we are able to have an impact on reducing our risk for cognitive decline.
It’s never too late to make new choices according to the Lancet Commission recommendations. They found nine modifiable risk factors across the lifespan that could collectively reduce dementia risk by 30-35%, not including special diets. Realistically, the risk could be impacted
by even greater percentages when diet is adjusted as well.
Your lifestyle choices can have an impact. Consider ways to live healthier and more engaged, and to reduce or eliminate foods and activities that you know to not be beneficial for your overall health. Get active and stay active. Clean those pipes so there is adequate blood flow and oxygen distribution. Keep your brain active and support your mental health. Prevent head injury. Feed your body and your brain. Stay socially engaged.
This is just as important for the caregiver that often gives up self-care
in exchange for caring for a loved one. Resources available through Miles for Memories create peace of mind for the caregiver through a real-time G.P.S. location finder as well as personal identification and caregiver contact information with the personal I.D. bracelet or nugget. The bracelet and nugget will provide a G.P.S. location when scanned as well as directions on how to get to their loved one, but only when it is scanned. Their MHEF MI-TECH grant makes these technologies available across Michigan.
Reach out to Miles for Memories at (269) 979-1412 or visit them at to learn more about bringing your loved one who has wandered back home quickly and safely.
Note: The websites for all of the tests referred to in this article are listed in the resources on page 15.
remember when 7

   5   6   7   8   9