Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. About 5 million people suffer from the disease, which attacks the brain and impairs memory and cognitive function. As symptoms develop, even simple daily tasks can become impossible to carry out.
Early detection is important for treatment, but as the Alzheimer's Association points out, people suffering from any form of dementia often don't recognize they have a problem and fail to alert their physician. Now, a simple yes-or-no test can assist family members who suspect a loved one is at risk for the developing the disease.
The Alzheimer's Questionnaire (AQ) was developed by researchers and published in BMC Geriatrics. The AQ isn't meant to be used as a definitive diagnostic test. Instead, it's an accessible, quick screening tool that may help determine whether a loved one or a patient should receive a full battery of neurological tests.
Courtesy BMC Geriatrics
The questions are designed to distinguish between people who have mild cognitive impairment (MCI)-often a precursor to Alzheimer's-and normal age-related memory loss. "Yes" answers score one or two points (questions three, seven, ten, and eleven are more heavily weighted) and "no" questions score zero. In a press release, researcher Michael Malek-Ahmadi advised people with scores of five or above to consult their physician.
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