General Question

flo's avatar

What do you think of this alzheimers test?

Asked by flo (7643 points ) January 16th, 2014

The title doesn’t mention alzheimers but it is in the text.
Test from Ohio State for University alzheimers

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13 Answers

anniereborn's avatar

I took the test. I only had a few moments trouble with one (the squares you had to X out).
My mother has Alzheimer’s. I know there is no way she could have completed this in her very early stages.
For quite a bit of it I used photographic memory. Not everyone has that. And that doesn’t mean you have dementia.
I don’t think this is the greatest of tests. The first kind of memory that goes is short term memory. These mostly relied on long term memory.
This might have some indications, but it certainly wouldn’t be a GOOD test.

zenvelo's avatar

Looks like a good way to get an early assessment, enough for a family member to say ” we need to go talk to the Doctor.”

Seek's avatar

It seems very subjective.
It just says “print it out, take the test, and give it to your doctor for evaluation”.

How many doctors are properly trained to assess these tests?

Pandora's avatar

I think it is decent. I get the premise of the test. They don’t ask anything that should be difficult for anyone with a normal memory to have difficulty with. I took all four. The most difficult thing on it was the initial date. I know I am in the middle of January 2014 but I don’t look at a calendar daily. So I tend to forget the date.

It is a great idea to do this and answer and give it to a doctor to keep with your records as they suggest. Then in the future you can retake the test and see if your memory has deteriorated since you last took the test. I think it is great for those who think their memory may be slipping. They can take the test occasionally and see if they are getting worse. If there seems to be a rapid change then it may indicate an actual problem that you may talk to your doctor about.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t download the test. I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying little tests like that, but in the end you need a proper evaluation by a doctor no matter what. If the person is elderly, a doctor who specializes in geriatrics should be able to do an evaluation. I would assume any GP can get the ball rolling, and refer you to a specialist if there are any real indicators of a problem.

@Pandora I think asking the date is a horrible assessment question, I don’t work and often don’t know the date. The year and month of course, but not always the date. When I had my accident the date was one of the questions I was asked, and I only knew it for sure because we were vacationing and I had made all the plans, so the date we arrived was hard and fast in my brain. I couldn’t breath well, and they dismissed it as anxiety and I couldn’t breath because I couldn’t breath! I had a tear in my lung. I was always coherent and answered all questions perfectly, but I easily could have gotten the date wrong. They already dismissed my complaint about my difficulty breathing initially, they also wanted to believe I had a head injury because of my vertigo (they made money scanning my brain for nothing!) if I also had trouble answering questions they probably would have dwelled on my brain instead of why I really had vertigo. The hardest impact from the accident was my chest, and I complained I had trouble breathing, and it took them three hours until they did my CT’s. They were concerned about my spine of course, and then they were surprised the xrays also showed the lung tear. No shit sherlock. Idiots.

JimTurner's avatar

I forgot to take it.

All kidding aside I agree with @JLeslie as usual.

flo's avatar

I agree @anniereborn “I don’t think this is the greatest of tests. The first kind of memory that goes is short term memory. These mostly relied on long term memory.” That is what I thought r. Q number 11 on each of the 4 forms. Some people are not good at things like that even when they have great memories.

flo's avatar

Where are the answers by the way?

Pandora's avatar

I think they ask long term memory questions is because that is often a sign that something is really wrong. It is easy to be forgetful about things you just did yesterday if you are tired or feeling sick. But you should never forget things like, where you was born, your parents names, what a cup is used for, what a volcano looks like, or the difference between a spoon and a fork.

I guy who had alzheimer and he was an accountant. His work started to suffer because he started to add things incorrectly. He was starting to forget what certain numbers looked like and this was at the beginning of his disease. He still did all the other stuff. It wasn’t long before he couldn’t cover it up and was let go from his job. Shortly after that he couldn’t drive because he couldn’t recognize speed limit signs. And letters were starting to fail him. I think that is why they have a portion for recognizing shapes, and following sequence with a to 1 and b to 2 and so on.

Long term memory is like the captain of a plane and short term is the co-pilot. You can do without the co-pilot for a short while because the captain should retain all the info needed to land the plane in an emergency. But the co-pilot has to keep checking with the pilot before making any decisions.

glacial's avatar

I have no idea whether this test is appropriate for testing Alzheimer’s. Given that it’s being presented by experts, I would have hoped that the website would present a better explanation of what each type of question is testing than just “cognitive, memory, or thinking impairments”.

I know that my high school French teacher would have questioned the implication of having the patient write the phrase “I am done”.

zenvelo's avatar

This test in and of itself is not for determining Alzheimer’s, but is a preliminary screening. If one completes it without too many errors, you can be reassured that you’re okay. But missing a lot doesn’t mean you have Alzheimers, just that you need to be fully evaluated.

flo's avatar

The flaw has been pointed out @zenvelo. It doesn’t even mean you need to get evaluated.
-Not knowing the date means nothing
-One just can’t assume that everyone knows what those items are in the test in the first place. You can’t forget something you never knew.

Another thing, where are the answers anyway? How are the candidates supposed to grade themselves?

flo's avatar

“How are the candidates supposed to grade themselves?” Ignore that part please, you’re supposed to take it to the dr.

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