St. Petersburg, Florida -- Alzheimer's is a growing problem here in the Sunshine State. By the end of the decade, more than half of a million Floridians will be living with Alzheimer's, but a simple test may help spot early signs of the disease.
With more and more people being diagnosed with the disease, doctors say it's critical to identify problems with memory and thinking as soon as possible. Researchers at Ohio State University say a simple, self-administered test can help spot cognitive changes. The four page test, which was given to people 50 and older, measured language, reasoning, problem solving and memory. It takes less than 15 minutes and can detect 80 percent of people with mild thinking and memory issues. Researchers hope the test will help catch cognitive changes earlier so doctors can start treatment right away.
"Patients just come in too late to be identified. They come into their doctors office perhaps three or four years after people have noticed specific cognitive issues," said Dr. Douglas Scharre, director of Cognitive Neurology at Ohio State University.
Researchers say people who take the test should talk to their doctor before interpreting results. You can check out the test by clicking here.
Researchers caution the study does not diagnose a person with Alzheimer's disease.