Study finds that loved ones can detect Alzheimer’s better than official tests


September 28, 2010

A recent study has revealed that those who are close to an Alzheimer's patient, such as family or friends, may be better able to detect early signs of the mental illness than tests conducted by doctors, according to

Doctors often put a patient through a series of cognitive tests that deal with memory and mental acuity in order to diagnose symptoms, but a questionnaire that is given to a loved one may yield better results.

The new method, which has already been published in multiple languages around the world, is known as the AD8.

"The AD8 gives us a brief and very low-cost alternative that takes a few minutes of the informant's time to screen for dementia," John C. Morris, director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at Washington University, told the news provider.

Some of the questions that are included on the questionnaire ask the informant about a patient's difficulty in remembering questions, stories, or appointments or forgetting how to use an everyday device, like a microwave, according to the news source.

Those who are caring for a patient with Alzheimer's may want to install an elderly alert system in the home. This device will allow the patient to instantly contact caretakers, family or doctors in the case of an emergency.