Is There a Test for Alzheimer's?

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A new test has been recently formulated for the detection of Alzheimer's disease. The best part is that a person can perform the test unaided and in only five minutes, so any necessary and potentially life-saving treatment can begin right away.

What is Alzheimer's

According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, fatal condition that destroys brain cells and damages memory, thinking and behavior. The disease gets worse over time and can be fatal. Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that 5.3 million Americans are currently living with. Alzheimer's disease was discovered by German physician Alois Alzheimer in 1906.

TYM

According to ABC News, a test announced in June 2009 can detect whether a person has Alzheimer's or its beginning stages.This self-administered test is called Test Your Memory, or TYM.

What Is It?

The British Medical Journal calls TYM a "powerful and valid" test because it can be completed fast and because it is considered to be accurate. TYM screens a person for a range of cognitive functions. TYM's questions cover the ability of a person to copy sentences and demonstrate a general knowledge of language, calculation, verbal fluency and various recall functions.

Study

According to the British Medical Journal, a study was completed on 540 subjects. The date of the study was unclear. After completing the test, 139 people were diagnosed as having Alzheimer's. Thirty one patients were diagnosed after taking this test as having non-Alzheimer's degenerative dementias. A perfect score on the TYM is 50 points Those with Alzheimer's were scoring an average of 33 points.

Old Test

An older test has been given to possible Alzheimer's patients to discover if they have this progressive disease.The test is called the Mini Mental State Exam .This exam has been the standard exam for 30 years but may soon be replaced with TYM because of its increased efficiency and self-administering feature. According to Dr. Pamela Blake, a neurologist at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital in Houston, Texas, the state exam only detected about 52 percent of the patients who have Alzheimer's. Blake said that TYM detected 93 percent of the patients.

Low Score

According to ABC News, a person can score low on this test for a variety of reasons. Therefore, if you take the test and score low, it may not be a sign that you have Alzheimer's; it could be a sign that a person taking this test is tired, anxious, worried about taking the test or may have taken medications or alcohol that affect the test rating.

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