Online test gauges risk of memory loss, dementia

WASHINGTON — Cases of dementia — or late-life cognitive impairment — are on the rise.  But a free online test can help gauge your risk of memory loss.

It is called the Dementia Risk Assessment, and it was created by Jason Brandt, a professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School and director of the school’s Division of Medical Psychology.

Brandt is quick to point out that the test is not designed to produce a diagnosis, “but it is to give people personally tailored information about their risk factors.”

The Dementia Risk Assessment has two parts: a questionnaire on family history and lifestyle choices and a brief memory test involving words and colors.

At the end of the assessment, participants are urged to print out the results and share them with their physicians and families.

Brandt says the goal is “to start a conversation about this” and to make people more aware of the risk factors they can modify over time, such as exercise and diet.

Anyone of any age can take the risk assessment, and you can remain anonymous.

Brandt says it is important for all of us to know our risk factors. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease or a related health problem.

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