Monday, July 13, 2015

Sage Testing Others

While I was away last week, I had the opportunity to offer the Sage Tests to a couple of folks I know. I had offered to them in the Fall but they weren't ready to consider what the Sage Tests may reveal.

The Sage Tests are designed to help you evaluate your cognitive functioning.  They have been developed by a medical school and have proven highly effective in helping people identify when or if they need to speak with their doctor about how their brain is working.  They are primarily geared towards helping identify potential onset of Alzheimer's disease.

There was reason to offer the tests to the folks who took them.  What we learned was that both are functioning in normal ranges.  It was good to see the results and the actual tests they took because it highlighted that their problem solving skills are in good shape.  For example, the test asked them to draw a clock face with the hands in specific positions.  From a discreet distance, I was able to observe how the clock face was drawn and saw them make a circle before adding in the 12, 3, 6 and 9 in that order.  They then filled in the missing numbers.  After I scored their tests, I asked why they drew them that way.  Their answers revealed their thought processes were focused on getting the numbers in the right place and the right order.  This took spatial reasoning as well as number order knowledge.

One of the individuals does have a concerning memory issue.  It is different than what I've learned about Alzheimer's and I encourage that individual to raise the issue with a doctor.  Even if the Sage tests indicate normal cognitive functioning, there can be other issues at play which impact a person's ability to recall.  For example, memory can be impaired by depression or a poorly functioning thyroid.  This is one of the reasons why doctors look at multiple body systems when a patient presents with cognitive or memory challenges.  I personally can attest to this.  I have a hypo-active thyroid.  When I take my thyroid medication regularly, I notice my memory is sharper.  If I forget to take it for a few days, then my memory is muddy and I forget to take the medication again.

If you or someone you care for has memory issues which are a concern, consider the Sage Tests as a quick way to evaluate cognitive functions.  If the results are below 17 points, then speak with a physician and seek additional, more formal evaluations.
 

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