Navigation Links
Friends, family detect early Alzheimer's signs better than traditional tests
Date:9/27/2010

Family members and close friends are more sensitive to early signs of Alzheimer's dementia than traditional screening tests, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Doctors often evaluate a person who is having memory problems by testing them with a variety of cognitive tasks, such as recalling a list of words or comparing shapes of objects. Washington University researchers developed a different approach. The two-minute Ascertain Dementia 8 (AD8) questionnaire relies on a friend or family member who knows the person well, known as an informant, to evaluate whether cognitive changes have caused the individual to have difficulties in performing everyday activities.

In the new study, published online in the journal Brain, scientists validated the AD8 by checking to see if it could highlight individuals who had biological indicators, or biomarkers, for Alzheimer's disease, such as abnormal levels of certain factors in the spinal fluid or positive brain scans for Alzheimer's plaques. The AD8's results corresponded with biomarker results more consistently than traditional cognitive tests.

"It's not economically feasible to screen everyone for Alzheimer's disease biomarkers," says John C. Morris, MD, director of the Charles F. and Joanne Knight Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University School of Medicine. "The AD8 gives us a brief and very low-cost alternative that takes a few minutes of the informant's time to screen for dementia and thus identify those individuals who need follow-up evaluations to determine if there truly are signs of Alzheimer's."

According to Morris, the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology, the difficulty with traditional early-stage dementia screening tools is that they only give a snapshot of a person's cognitive abilities at one point in time when they're being tested. Asking the individual if his or her mental abilities have changed doesn't necessarily produce accurate results either, Morris says, because persons with early-stage dementia often lack insight into their problem.

Researchers at the Knight Alzheimer' s Disease Research Center, including first author James Galvin, MD, now at New York University, developed the AD8 from the Center's existing research tools. Informants are asked to rate whether there has been a change in the following areas:

  • Problems with judgment, such as bad financial decisions;
  • Reduced interest in hobbies and other activities;
  • Repeating of questions, stories or statements;
  • Trouble learning how to use a tool or appliance, such as a television remote control or a microwave;
  • Forgetting the month or year;
  • Difficulty handling complicated financial affairs, such as balancing a checkbook;
  • Difficulty remembering appointments; and
  • Consistent problems with thinking and memory.

Informants can respond yes or no to each item; each "yes" response is worth a point, and a score of two or more indicates a need for additional evaluation.

According to Morris, informants who have regular exposure to the individual provide the most accurate assessments.

"These informants can give us the retrospective perspective we need to know that a person's mental abilities have begun to meaningfully decline, indicating that additional testing is needed," Morris says.

For the new study, researchers gathered AD8 evaluations on 251 individuals and also tested them using the Mini Mental State exam, a traditional dementia screening test. They then evaluated biomarkers in the individuals, including spinal fluid assays and brain plaque scans.

"Based on our results, the AD8 appears to be superior to conventional testing in its ability to detect signs of early dementia," Morris says. "It can't tell us whether the dementia is caused by Alzheimer's or other disorders, but it lets us know when there's a need for more extensive evaluations to answer that question."

Since its development, the AD8 has been translated into several different languages and validated in those languages. It is currently in use in clinics around the world.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
2. LifestyleMom.com and the LifestyleMom Radio Cafe Aim to Help Women Create a Family Life and "Me Life" That They Truly Love
3. Family Research Council: Planned Parenthood Report Oversexualizes Ten-Year-Olds, Undermines Parental Authority
4. Family's Fight to Save Child Spreads Hope Around Globe
5. Jewish Board of Family and Childrens Services Welcomes New Board President, Tony Mann
6. Vancouver, Washington -- Free Family Fun at Health Fair
7. Los Angeles Jewish Home Adds Short-Term Rehabilitative Care to Family of Services
8. Surgeon General with Microsoft HealthVault Expands Consumer Benefits for the My Family Health Portrait Offering
9. Family members reduce stress in advanced cancer patients with 14 minute massages
10. InterAmerican College Announces Certification of Master of Science in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Program
11. Global AIDS Alliance: U.S. Must Meet Its Obligations to Family Planning
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... , ... MD Now Urgent Care opened its newest location on ... marks the urgent care center's eighth location in Miami-Dade county. , The center's address ... The new clinic offers a wide array of services to patients in ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ross Insurance ... With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) recent update of flood zones, more ... 2012, the Biggert-Waters Act was enacted to reflect the actual risk in flood ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... ... Ulster University, Magee Campus in Northern Ireland is hosting The Schools for ... to graduate students exciting new and innovative hope research based on iFred’s “Schools for ... Improvement Service of the Western Health & Social Care Trust (WHSCT) in partnership with ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... Jusino Insurance Services, a locally owned ... greater Chicago metropolitan area, is embarking on a charity drive in conjunction with ... Founded in 1897, Hephzibah Children’s Association is one of the oldest social services ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Radabaugh ... planning to families and business owners in North Central West Virginia, is embarking ... services to differently abled residents in the region. , The Stepping Stones organization ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/13/2017)... June 13, 2017 Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE ... announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ... 2015 relating to its Zhejiang, China ... "The successful clearance of the Warning Letter related ... facility is a measure of the progress we have made ...
(Date:6/10/2017)... June 9, 2017  Shane K. Burchfield, DPM, is recognized by ... as a Podiatrist in Alabama . ... First Foot Care. He brings over 20 years of experience, as ... and healthcare, to his role. ... PC is pleased to welcome you to his practice," ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... , June 8, 2017  Less than a ... hit more than 200,000 companies, including hospital networks, in ... heralded as one of the largest online extortion attempts ... the healthcare market, it is imperative that providers understand ... their data from this — and many other very ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: