Intended for healthcare professionals


Self administered cognitive screening test (TYM) for detection of Alzheimer’s disease: cross sectional study

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2030

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:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 July 2009
Andrew S. Hua
Consultant Physician and Geriatrician
Melbourne, VIC 3103, Australia