1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Del24

    Del24 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    67
    Hertfordshire
    My wife has just had her 3 monthly memory test at the memory clinic.
    Last time 3 months ago she scored 21 out of 30 this time it was 10 out of 30 with a trainee.
    My concern about this test is they are asking questions that she would not know the answers. I did point this out to them and also that she was tired due to her diabetes.
    Instead of a standard form of questions for everybody would it not be better to make the questions more personal such as children and grandchildren names favorite foods etc.
    Would welcome your comments.:confused:
     
  2. chick1962

    chick1962 Registered User

    Apr 3, 2014
    11,280
    Female
    near Folkestone
    Hi Del24, I agree with you but I don't take that much notice of these tests. My husband has good and bad days so it depends very much on how he is on the day of test. On a good day he can score 25 and on a bad one 17 or less. It varies a lot :)
     
  3. Grey Lad

    Grey Lad Registered User

    Sep 12, 2014
    5,737
    North East Lincs
    IMHO these tests prove little. They are often applied by people who lack any kind of empathy. I am unclear if the Memory Service is fit for purpose and see it as little more than a Job Creation Project. The real issue is the functional capacity of the sufferer not if he or she can count back from a 100 in 7's.
     
  4. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I agree with the other posters, don't set any store by the tests, they do not reflect with any accuracy where someone is in the progress of the illness, they are pointless and cause upset in my view.
     
  5. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,973
    Suffolk
    #5 Spamar, Jul 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
    I think the real issue is how much a person is deteriorating. OH went from 30/30 to about 2/30 in his time. Alzheimer's, in particular, is difficult to quantify anyway. Like several on here, OH was an intelligent man and these types score well in the beginning.
    In the absence of anything else, I go with it. It's not perfect by a long shot, but it's something.

    I don't think you can personalise too much, favourite foods, for instance, change as tastes change, which they do with dementia.
    A trainee shouldn't make any difference and our team seem to have all the empathy you can wish for!
     
  6. spurs50

    spurs50 Registered User

    Nov 11, 2012
    16
    Memory tet

    It was explained to me that the memory test questions test different parts of cognition. The questions might seem daft at times but they refer to different parts of the brain. Of course people may have good and bad days but it is just a guide. My mum has these tests and in 10 years has gone from 29 to 8
     
  7. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,783
    Salford
    Last test they kept both of us together in the past we've always been questioned apart so for the first time I got to see what they asked her not just me, the result was "no score" due to her inability to complete any of them.
    Frankly whatever the results make no difference to our lives, someone has ticked some boxes somewhere but for me it doesn't change a thing so why care?
    If they gave me some money on account of her level of disability or I thought that it might get back to the government had much she has declined then they'd put more money into AZ care then it might matter but neither of those happen so what's the point?
    We've got a 6 month assessment next Tuesday it'll be the usual waste of time like the last 6 appointments, "if you're coping then just get on with it" is pretty much the situation.
    K
     
  8. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    2,951
    I realise that the tests can establish which parts of the brain are damaged but what is the point? No one ever came up with a single thing to HELP as a result of the tests and no one ever said it was important to gather this information because it is fed back to the government and will enable all dementia sufferers to receive better care.
    I guess I am very cynical about all this, and like Kevinl I believe that it is a tick box exercise which does not help the sufferer or their carers at all.
    Mum clearly had dementia, and it took a while for Dad to get to grips with accepting this and doing something about it so it was really quite bad and he was at the end of his tether by the time they got to the memory clinic. I was doing a lot of miles and trying to be supportive and also finding it really difficult.
    Dad was told after the memory test that mum's scores were very good. Obviously we were making up how bad things were and exaggerating. It was soul destroying and delayed considerably being able to get any help, mum suffered enormously with psychotic episodes and dad became so exhausted I had to take compassionate leave from work.
    But mum's memory test scores were ok so that was good wasn't it.
     
  9. its a struggle

    its a struggle Registered User

    Benchmark

    Hi Del,
    I agree with others here about the usefulness of these questions & I have posted before about my frustration with the test. As others have said, well read or educated people do very well for quite a long time, and in Mum in Law's case she has an almost perfect score still; that doesn't mean she knows what day of the week it is most of the time or can function without a lot of assistance!
    My point about benchmarking is that once the mem team have started with a set of questions then they will need to use the same ones to determine progression of the disease.
    The questions you suggest would relate to something our CPN refers to as functional ability which I interpret as the day to day stuff she can't do.
    It's good that your team see your wife on a bad day, because all too often our LOs can put on their best party manners to convince everyone that there is nothing wrong with them.
    I hope the scores mean that you and your wife receive the help you need.
     
  10. merton37

    merton37 Registered User

    Aug 2, 2011
    1
    I believe these test have little value once Alzheimer's has taken a firm hold.
    My wife has to go every 6 months, she finds it very distressing and it does her more harm than good. All they do is give her another 6 months supply of patches and that's it!
    She has far more serious issues than her poor memory and lack of knowledge.
     
  11. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,826
    UK
    My mum has had 2 memory tests, she was not too happy with the second one and said that she had had enough, so the consultant stopped. I do wish it could be more like a conversation though, seems to me they could still get the information they need to tick their boxes. She is I think overdue for her third visit, but they seem to have forgotten to send us a date, I'm not going to push this, knowing her score makes very little difference to us.
     
  12. Countryboy

    Countryboy Registered User

    Mar 17, 2005
    1,425
    Male
    Cornwall
    Doctors have devised a memory test which doubles the chances of detecting early dementia.
    The Test Your Memory (TYM) method is so simple that patients could be taught to do it themselves.

    It takes just five minutes to carry out and detects 93 per cent of cases of Alzheimer's, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal online.
    This makes it almost twice as effective as the existing test - which is also more complex and takes longer to do - at detecting which people need further investigation.
    The TYM test assesses those with memory problems on ten measures, including copying a sentence, calculations, verbal fluency and recall of a copied sentence. The researchers looked at 540 people aged 18 to 95 without memory problems, and 139 patients attending a memory clinic for dementia or mild cognitive impairment.
    Healthy volunteers gained an average score of 47 out of 50 on the TYM test. Patients with Alzheimer's disease had consistently lower marks, with an average score of 33 out of 50.

    Patients with mild cognitive impairment scored an average of 45 out of 50.
    In the same study, a widely used test called the mini-mental state examination (MMSE) detected just 52 per cent of Alzheimer's patients. Consultant neurologist Jeremy Brown, who led the research team at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, said the MMSE had been around for 30 years and was used to decide whether dementia sufferers qualified for drugs on the NHS.

    But it takes at least eight minutes to administer - when most GPs only get ten minutes with each patient - and is poor at picking up the early signs of Alzheimer's

    Test Your Memory sample questions
    • Who is the Prime Minister?
    • Why is a carrot like a potato?
    • Why is a lion like a wolf?
    • In what year did WW1 start?
    • Please list four creatures beginning with 'S' eg. shark
    • Sums: 20-4= 16+17= 8X6= 4+15-17=

    Dr Brown said another advantage of the TYM was that non-specialists could accurately compile scores after just ten minutes of training.
    He added: 'You can't do the existing test yourself, which takes up a lot of time for doctors and other staff.

    'The TYM can be done in a few minutes and it's a good way of identifying people who need further-assessment. If people have a low score it's possible there are other reasons, such as dyslexia, poor eyesight or nerves - but a doctor who knows them can pick that up.'
    Healthcare staff will soon be able to access the test via a website the team is planning to set up.

    It should also be simple to translate it into different languages.
    Professor Clive Ballard, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said: 'A test that helps detect dementia sooner in local healthcare facilities could help more people access vital care and support earlier.

    'However, more research is needed to see if this test works in different settings with different groups of people and establish whether it is more effective than the most sensitive existing tests.'

    Answers to sample questions: Gordon Brown. Both are vegetables. Both are animals/hunters. 1914. Any creature or breed of dog is fine. Mythical creatures not allowed. 6, 33, 48, 2
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.