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Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

How to Use

  • Widely used tool for detecting cognitive impairment, assessing severity, and monitoring cognitive changes over time
  • Takes ~ 5–10 minutes to administer
  • Should be administered by trained clinicians
  • Assesses 5 areas: Orientation, Short-term memory (retention), Attention, Short-term
    memory (recall) and language
  • Most commonly used tool in screening for Alzheimer’s disease (AD)
  • Highly educated people tend to score higher even when they have AD
  • Available in many languages
Click here for website for MMSE


How to Score

Maximum score is 30. In general, scores fall into 4 categories.
  • Orientation – 10 points
  • Short-term memory (retention) – 3 points
  • Attention – 5 points
  • Short-term memory (recall) – 3 points
  • Language – 9 points

Crum RM, Anthony JC, Bassett SS, Folstein MF. Population-based norms for the mini-mental state examination by age and educational level. JAMA. 1993;269(18):2386-2391.; Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR. "Mini-mental state": a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975;12:189-198.; Rovner BW, Folstein MF. Mini-mental state exam in clinical practice. Hosp Pract.1987;22(1A):99, 103, 106,110.; Tombaugh TN, McIntyre NJ. The mini-mental state examination: a comprehensive review. J Am Geriatr Soc.1992;40(9):922-935.
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