Alzheimer's Association International Conference
Alzheimer's Association International Conference
July 20, 2017
1 min read

Digital SAGE assessment accurate for early dementia

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Douglas W. Scharre

Data presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference indicated efficacy of a digital version of the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination, a brief cognitive assessment for mild cognitive impairment and early dementia.

In a statement to Healio/Psychiatry, Douglas W. Scharre, MD, of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, who created Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE), said he wanted “to develop a self-administered validated cognitive assessment tool for tablet use with the purpose to identify individuals with early signs of cognitive impairment or early signs of dementia.”

To assess efficacy of digitally translated SAGE (eSAGE), Scharre and colleagues conducted clinical evaluations among 66 individuals aged 50 years and older who received SAGE. Study participants had dementia, mild cognitive impairment, or healthy cognition.

Correlation between eSAGE scores and a battery of neuropsychological tests was 0.73 (P < .0001) with no significant difference between paper or digital versions.

Spearman correlation between SAGE vs. eSAGE was 0.88 (P < .0001). Analysis indicated strong evidence of identical scaling between eSAGE and SAGE, with no scale bias.

Overall, eSAGE scores were lower by a mean of 1.21 (P < .0001).

Among participants familiar with smartphones or tablets, eSAGE scores were lower by a mean 0.83 points (P = .029).

In addition, eSAGE had 90% specificity and 71% sensitivity for detection of cognitive impairment.

“Performing cognitive testing including bedside tests requires significant time for administration. This self-administered tool saves time,” Scharre told Healio/Psychiatry. “The tool is validated and can be used with confidence to identify cognitive status or changes in cognitive status due to disease progression or from medication or from toxic/metabolic causes. Early identification of cognitive issues may prompt therapy changes or further evaluations. With four interchangeable forms, learning effects are reduced with repeated testing and the test could be given multiple times for assessment and reassessments easily since it does not require any administrator's time.” – by Amanda Oldt


Scharre D, et al. Digitally translated self-administered gerocognitive examination (eSAGE): relationship with its validated paper version, neuropsychological evaluations, and clinical assessments. Presented at: Alzheimer’s Association International Conference; July 16-20, 2017; London.

Scharre D, et al. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2017;doi:10.1186/s13195-017-0269-3.

Disclosure: could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.

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