To develop a self-administered cognitive assessment instrument to facilitate the screening of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early dementia and determine its association with gold standard clinical assessments including neuropsychologic evaluation.
Adults aged above 59 years with sufficient vision and English literacy were recruited from geriatric and memory disorder clinics, educational talks, independent living facilities, senior centers, and memory screens. After Self-administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE) screening, subjects were randomly selected to complete a clinical evaluation, neurologic examination, neuropsychologic battery, functional assessment, and mini-mental state examination (MMSE). Subjects were identified as dementia, MCI, or normal based on standard clinical criteria and neuropsychologic testing.
Two hundred fifty-four participants took the SAGE screen and 63 subjects completed the extensive evaluation (21 normal, 21 MCI, and 21 dementia subjects). Spearman rank correlation between SAGE and neuropsychologic battery was 0.84 (0.76 for MMSE). SAGE receiver operating characteristics on the basis of clinical diagnosis showed 95% specificity (90% for MMSE) and 79% sensitivity (71% for MMSE) in detecting those with cognitive impairment from normal subjects.
This study suggests that SAGE is a reliable instrument for detecting cognitive impairment and compares favorably with the MMSE. The self-administered feature may promote cognitive testing by busy clinicians prompting earlier diagnosis and treatment.