The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) was developed by Ohio State University College of Medicine, Department of Neurology. The test is a cognitive screening instrument used to identify Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and early dementia. The test is self-administered, so people questioning their own cognitive abilities can take the exam privately. This is good and bad, good that it may encourage some people to take the exam who might not otherwise subject themselves to being tested by a doctor, bad in that it means some people testing themselves might draw inaccurate conclusions or not have the opportunity for a professional assessment. The test cannot be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s or dementia. People should always consult their physician if they have cognitive concerns.
Live Science describes the test as such:
“The SAGE is designed to test various parts of the brain linked to certain functions. For example, patients are asked to identify pictures to test their language skills, and perform calculations to test their math skills, both primarily carried out by the left side of the brain. Subjects also copy geometrical designs to test their right brain, and perform memory tests. The SAGE test is quite robust compared to other handwritten tests in that it measures so many different parts of the brain, Dr. Douglas Scharre (Ohio State University Medical Center) said.
In a study involving 254 participants, Scharre and his colleagues compared the reliability of the SAGE test with that of other standard tests used to detect cognitive problems, such as assessment by a neuropsychologist. The results show 80 percent of those with mild thinking and memory issues can be detected by SAGE, and 95 percent of those with normal thinking abilities will have normal scores.”
How to take/administer the SAGE:
The test is self-administered. There are four forms of the SAGE test and any form may be used (use only one). The exam should be completed without the help from anyone else. All four pages must be completed. User questions should not be answered with anything beyond “do the best you can.” The test should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, though the test is not timed. Total possible points are 22.