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Sunday, 13 January 2019
Quick Quiz May Reveal If You're At Risk For ALZHEIMER’S
by Fiona Macrae for The Daily Mail 3/2/2012
A quick test that tells if your loved one is at risk of Alzheimer’s disease has been devised by doctors. The 21-question test distinguishes between normal absent-mindedness and the more sinister memory lapses that may signal the early stages of dementia.
The questions are designed to be answered by a spouse or close friend. The Alzheimer’s Questionnaire, which is almost 90 per cent accurate, measures mild cognitive impairment – the slight memory lapses that can be a precursor of the disease.
Up to 15 per cent of people with MCI develop Alzheimer’s within the next year.
The lack of a cure for dementia means that some may not want to take the test, which was devised by Banner Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona, which specializes in the disease.
Some questions, including one about making the same statements over the course of a day, known as repetitiveness, were found to be particularly valuable.
The 21 questions are answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A ‘yes’ is given a score of one or two and a ‘no’ always scores zero, giving a maximum possible score of 27.
Someone who scores under five is advised that there is no cause for concern. A score of five to 14 suggests mild cognitive impairment – or memory lapses that could be the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Any higher than this and the person may already have it. Writing in the journal BMC Geriatrics researcher Michael Malek-Ahmadi said: ‘As the population ages, the need for a quick method of spotting the disease early will grow.’
Mr Malek-Ahmadi stressed that it is up to GPs rather than patients to interpret the results of the test. That said, anyone who scores five or above should seek expert help.
DEMENTIA OR SIMPLE ABSENT-MINDEDNESS?
How To Score
Pick 1 answer each of the 21 questions & note down the corresponding number of points. Then add up all the points to give a total score out of 27.
1. Does your loved one have memory loss? Y = 1 N = 0 2. If so, is their memory worse than a few years ago? Y = 1 N = 0 3. Do they repeat statements or stories in the same day? Y = 2 N = 0 4. Have you had to take over tracking events or appointments, or does the patient forget appointments? Y = 1 N = 0 5. Do they misplace items more than once a month? Y = 1 N = 0 6. Do they suspect others of hiding, or stealing items when they cannot find them? Y = 1 N = 0 7. Does your loved one frequently have trouble knowing the day, date, month, year, and time; or check the date more than once a day? Y = 2 N = 0 8. Do they become disoriented in unfamiliar places? Y = 1 N = 0 9. Do they become more confused when not at home or when traveling? Y = 1 N = 0 10 . Excluding physical limitations, do they have trouble handling money, such as tips or calculating change? Y = 1 N = 0 11. Do they trouble paying bills or doing finances? Y = 2 N = 0 12. Does your loved one have trouble remembering to take medicines or keeping track of medications taken? Y = 1 N = 0 13. Do they difficulty driving; or are you concerned about their driving? Y = 1 N = 0 14. Are they having trouble using appliances, such as the stove, phone, remote control, microwave? Y = 1 N = 0 15. Excluding physical limitations, are they having difficulty completing home repair or housekeeping tasks? Y = 1 N = 0 16. Excluding physical limitations, have they given up or cut down on hobbies such as golf, dancing, exercise or crafts? Y = 1 N = 0 17. Are they getting lost in familiar surroundings, such as their own neighbourhood? Y = 2 N = 0 18. Is their sense of direction failing? Y = 1 N = 0 19. Do they have trouble finding words other than names? Y = 1 N = 0 20. Do they confuse names of family members or friends? Y = 2 N = 0 21. Do they have trouble recognizing familiar people? Y = 2 N = 0
What the score means
0 to 4: No cause for concern
5 to 14: Memory loss may be an early warning of Alzheimer’s
15 and above: Alzheimer’s may already have developed