top

Online Tests for Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment and Aging-Related Mental Decline

There are several online tests available to help families understand if a loved is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or a related dementia.  To be clear, these tests are not designed to give a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.   To receive a formal diagnosis, several medical experts are required as well as expensive medical technology and procedures such as brain scans and spinal fluid extractions.  Neither of which are pleasant experiences for a loved one whom you suspect may have Alzheimer’s.   Instead, online tests for Alzheimer’s are designed and intended to give a family enough information to know whether they should pursue a professional, medical opinion.

A certain degree of forgetfulness is common to most aging individuals.  Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a condition which is more severe than normal memory decline associated with aging, but not so severe as Alzheimer’s.  Online tests for dementia / Alzheimer’s should be adequate to help families distinguish between these conditions.

Before we discuss the various options available to self-administer an Alzheimer’s test on the Internet, some words of caution are advised.

  • No online test can definitively tell if your loved one has Alzheimer’s.  Do not believe any website which tells you something to the contrary.
  • There are many free tests available online produced by universities, non-profits and reputable medical institutions.  It is strongly recommended that one use the following links to find a test and not take one of the paid Alzheimer’s test advertised online.  More than likely these paid tests are not valid and can possibly be scams.
  • Some online tests are simply advertisements for brain-training products masking as tests.  There may or may not reflect on their validity, but users should be aware if the test provider is trying to sell them a product or service.

The following tests have been selected specifically to allow non-professionals to administer and interpret the results of the test.  Some of these may be more complex for the administrator than others but none are so complicated that they cannot be managed by a normal, adult, English speaker.

SAGE
SAGE is an abbreviation for the Self-Administered Geocognitive Examination and while it is not exactly self-administered it does not require a doctor.  This the gold standard of Alzheimer’s tests on the Internet.   It was developed by the Department of Neurology at Ohio State University.  Again, it will not result in a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s but is found to be 80% effective at identifying persons with memory challenges.  The test itself is meant to be downloaded, printed and self-administered.  The results are meant to be interpreted by a medical professional.  However, the scoring instructions are also available online and they are not especially challenging.  A non-professional adult can understand and easily score the results of the test.   In short, a family member can give this test to their loved one and accurately understand the results of the test without a medical professional.   What happens after the test, should the test taker be found to have memory challenges, does require a medical professional.  The SAGE test takes approximately 10-20 minutes to complete.  The scoring process takes only 5-10 minutes.

Download the SAGE Test Here.

Download How to Score the Test Here.

Download How to Interpret the Results Here.

Mini-Cog

The Mini-Cog differs slightly from the SAGE Test in that a test administrator is required and plays an active role.   However, only about 5 minutes of time are required to administer the test and only one minute is needed to score the test and interpret the results.  The test administration role is not challenging and any healthy adult can serve in that role.  No medical training is required.   The results do not diagnosis dementia, but permit the administrator to know if further action is necessary.  One can download the test at the link below.  It is important that only the administrator view this document, not the test taker.

Download the Mini-Cog Test.

Neurotrack
Neurotrack is a different sort of test in that it does not measure mental acuity compared to the greater population.  Instead it takes a snapshot of one’s mental acuity and allows one to track any progression over time.  Most relevantly, one can see a decline over time if they are suffering from MCI, Alzheimer’s or other dementia.  Another way the test differs is instead of written acuity challenges, the system tracks acuity through eye motion tracked using a computer’s webcam.  Some persons prefer this more passive approach and others have difficulty accepting the test as valid.  In either case, Neurotrack may be best used in combination with one of the other tests described above.  At the time of writing, this test was free but an email address was required.

Visit Neurotrack’s Website.