THURSDAY, Dec. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For individuals who have conversion of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to dementia, statistically significant decreases in cognitive test scores occur at least six months earlier with the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) than with the non-self-administered Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy.

Douglas W. Scharre, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a cohort study involving 665 patients from The Ohio State University Memory Disorders Clinic. A total of 424 individuals met the inclusion criteria: 40 with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 94 MCI nonconverters to dementia, 70 MCI converters to dementia (49 and 21 to Alzheimer disease [AD] dementia and non-AD dementia, respectively), and 220 with AD dementia.

The researchers found that for MCI converters to AD dementia, SAGE and MMSE scores declined at annual rates of 1.91 and 1.68 points/year, respectively, while for individuals with AD dementia, the scores declined at annual rates of 1.82 and 2.38 points/year, respectively. For SCD and MCI nonconverters, SAGE and MMSE scores remained stable. With SAGE, there was a statistically significant decrease from baseline scores at least six months earlier than with MMSE for MCI converters to AD dementia (14.4 versus 20.4 months), MCI converters to non-AD dementia (14.4 versus 32.9 months), and individuals with AD dementia (8.3 versus 14.4 months).

“The earlier we detect mild cognitive impairment using effective tests, providers can treat earlier in the disease course, have more potential treatment options for the individual to improve outcomes, and delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer disease,” Scharre said in a statement.

The Ohio State University holds the copyright for the SAGE test, which was developed by one of the authors.

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