NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Rite Aid (RAD) fell Tuesday amid a Bloomberg report that the drugstore chain's memory tests, designed to provide early warnings for Alzheimer's, have come under scrutiny from doctors.
Some doctors criticize the tests because they claim they do not work properly and could cause unnecessary panic among those who do not actually have Alzheimer's. Rite Aid is rolling out the tests this month at more than 4,000 locations in conjunction with the nonprofit advocacy group Alzheimer's Foundation of America. The 5-minute to 10-minute test contains oral and written questions and checks for early memory loss, including types connected to Alzheimer's and dementia, according to the foundation.
The tests could raise awareness for the disease and could encourage someone to see a doctor sooner rather than later, according to foundation president Carol Steinberg. But some doctors claim the tests are not totally accurate and those who do not perform well on the exam could spend unnecessary time, money and stress on a disease they do not actually have. These doctors want the tests to be administered in a medical setting with trained professionals.
"Teaching someone how to perform a cognitive assessment is not a trivial manner," David Knopman, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. "It takes some training and background in knowing about neurology."
Knopman is a part of the scientific advisory board of the Alzheimer's Association, which does not support the tests.