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Friends, Family Detect Early Alzheimer's Disease Better

Family members and close friends detect early signs of Alzheimer’s dementia better than traditional screening tests, according to a new study published by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine.

Doctors often evaluate a person who is having memory problems by testing them with a variety of cognitive tasks, such as recalling a list of words or comparing shapes of objects. In this study, the researchers validated a different approach: a two-minute questionnaire called the Ascertain Dementia 8 (AD8) questionnaire.

The AD8 relies on a friend or family member who knows the person well to evaluate whether cognitive changes have caused the individual to have difficulties in performing everyday activities. The AD8’s results corresponded with biological indicators of Alzheimer’s disease more consistently than traditional cognitive tests.

The AD8 has been translated into several languages and validated in those languages. It is currently used in clinics around the world.

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