More improvements for the Clock Drawing Test

Last month I wrote a post about what the Clock Drawing Test is, how it is scored, what that means, and new research on a home-based version that is done on a touchscreen. It’s a great post, and I’m not just saying that because I wrote it 🙂 It already has had 150 views – and is my second most popular post (after my post about Coloring as a Purposeful Activity).

Well, today, another way that technology is improving the Clock Drawing Test has come across my radar. This time, researchers are developing a method that uses a digital pen when drawing the clock. While the earlier article I posted describes using a tablet or touchscreen to analyze how the test is drawn in real time (how long it takes between writing numbers and placing the hands, where they are drawn, and can even replay the drawing process so that doctors can look for further abnormalities), this new one, using the digital pen, essentially does similar things. The pen has a small camera on it that also looks at how long it takes between strokes and to complete the drawing, movements, and the process as a whole. The Anoto Live Pen is from a Swedish company, Anoto. Continue reading

The Clock Drawing Test and Dementia

You may have heard of the clock test before. It is commonly included in the battery of tests when making a dementia diagnosis. More than one test is used because doctors are first trying to rule out other causes for the cognitive impairments (such as tumors, stroke or other changes to the brain), to determine if the dementia symptoms could be reversible (such as with an infection or vitamin deficiencies), and to differentiate the type of dementia (if it is vascular, frontotemporal, etc.). Actually, the dementia test work-up is really a bunch of tests to rule out causes for the cognitive changes, and only when no other cause can be found, a diagnosis of dementia or probable dementia is given (or at least that is the ideal way the tests are used and a diagnosis of dementia is arrived at).

Continue reading