The research team of Ohio State’s Douglas Scharre, MD, was gratified to see more than
1 million downloads of their Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) test
during the first six months of online access.
The SAGE test provides equally weighted scores to evaluate executive function, memory,
visual spatial abilities and language. Seeing many first-time patients who were well
along the path to dementia was the impetus for Dr. Scharre developing a test to detect
early indicators of disease. Test questions were critically evaluated for complexity and
applicability to develop a self-administered test with good memory assessments. Initially,
the majority of test takers incorrectly answered many of the memory questions partly due
to attempting to cheat the test. The questions were adjusted so that psychologically, the
desire to unfairly obtain correct answers was inhibited.
Some individuals are using the SAGE test to assess their own level of cognitive ability,
while others are providing it to elderly relatives as a long-term monitoring tool, using an
individual’s initial test results as a baseline to compare future performance. One state
is contemplating using it to assess hospital patients, while a large healthcare system is
considering its routine use for early identification of cognitive issues. Ohio State oncologists
use SAGE before and after chemotherapy to monitor potential cognitive side effects.
The SAGE test is currently available in four versions of four languages. An electronic
platform, e-SAGE, is being developed with specialized versions to assess cognitive ability
in head trauma, stroke and depression.
SAGE is a cognitive assessment screening tool for mild cognitive impairment and early dementia
Scharre DW, Chang SI, Nagaraja HN, Yager-Schweller J, Murden RA: Community cognitive screening using the Self-Administered Gerocognitive
Examination (SAGE). J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2014; 26( 4): 369-375.
Scharre DW, Chang SI, Murden RA, Lamb J, Beversdorf DQ, Kataki M, Nagaraja HN, Bornstein RA: Self-administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE):
A brief cognitive assessment instrument for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. Mar 2010; 24( 1): 64-71.