First of a kind
Congratulations to Drs. Brown et al. for bringing out what will prove
to be a prototype for easily administered screening test for a looming
epidemic of cognitive diseases in the elderly. All the comments are valid
criticisms and point towards the difficulty of any tests of this kind.
What we need is a well validated test across different languages
educational levels age groups and cultures which can be easily
administered and non-confrontational.
With the availability of new gadgets like the iphone, it would quite
conceivable to develop such a test as a freely downloadable application in
different language forms and include tests for attention, reaction time
etc. which can be significant for diseases such as Lewy Body Dementia
(DLB), which ranks second to Alzheimer disease in the over 75s. I agree
that interpretation should be left to clinicians and the results should be
referred back to a central reference databank where they can be analysed
against age, gender and ethnic norms, and reported only as within a
certain percentile of the normal range.
It is about time tests such as the MMSE are replaced - the gold standard
lining the pockets of the copyright holders.
Competing interests: No competing interests