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SATURN: an inexpensive, freely-available, and fully self-administered cognitive screening test

Cite this dataset

Bissig, David; Erten-Lyons, Deniz; Lutsep, Helmi; Kaye, Jeffrey (2020). SATURN: an inexpensive, freely-available, and fully self-administered cognitive screening test [Dataset]. Dryad.


Cognitive screening tests improve detection of dementia in the outpatient setting, and are helpful in select inpatient settings. Barriers to widespread screening include provider time investment and variability in test administration and scoring. We therefore developed Self-Administered Tasks Uncovering Risk of Neurodegeneration (SATURN) for inexpensive (<$100) computer tablets. This submission to Dryad accompanies an abstract for the 2020 American Academy of Neurology conference, and is likely to referenced in a later manuscript. This Dryad data submission was updated on 31-MAY-2020. The updated version of SATURN ("") revises the score summary screen with the latest normative data, and now permits the operator to set their state (for orientation questions). The updated Dryad submission also includes a better video of normal operation of SATURN, draft foreign language versions, and an Excel spreadsheet with de-identified participant-level data on demographics, MoCA scores, and SATURN scores. As before, we include instructions for installing SATURN on a computer tablet, and the IRB-approved protocol for the validation study. The latter includes a description of scoring each item within SATURN. Our hope is that by sharing the protocol, it will be easier for others to implement studies that use SATURN.


An older file, SATURN.rar, is retained for completeness, but is outdated as of the 31-MAY-2020 upload.


We enrolled English-speaking adults patients, age 50-89 years, from Oregon Health and Science University neurology clinics (primarily dementia and movement disorders clinics) and their healthy partners/caregivers. For patients, we logged the primary diagnosis from each clinic visit, and when the patient was seen in our sub-specialty dementia clinic, he or she was assigned global and sum-of-boxes scores for the clinical dementia rating scale. As part of a typical clinic visit, information about the study partner’s activities of daily living is provided by descriptions of how he or she assists the patient. To our knowledge, no study partners had significant cognitive or functional impairment. Caregiver cognition is typical of the general population, and later review of partner MoCA scores reassured that this group was cognitively intact. They were therefore assigned CDR scores of 0. The patient and study partner were tested with SATURN and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). We randomized which patients were tested with MoCA version 7.1 versus 7.2 (the study partner and patient received opposite versions), and the order of testing (MoCA before or after SATURN) for each dyad. Afterwards, participants completed a brief survey asking age, sex, years of education, self-identified race/ethnicity, and two questions comparing the MoCA to SATURN: “Was the tablet easy to use?” (“yes” or “no”), and “Which did you prefer, the paper-and-pencil test, or the tablet?” (“paper-and-pencil”, “tablet”, or “I felt the same about both”). SATURN_DATA_2020_05MAY_30.xlsx contains the results of these activities, which were first presented in an electronic/remote poster format for the 2020 American Academy of Neurology conference (which would have been held in Toronto, Canada, if not for the COVID-19 pandemic).


Usage notes

Details are provided in the worksheets within the .xlsx file.