Memory tests for Alzheimer's disease

December 2016
Memory tests are essential to aid diagnosis in Alzheimer's disease and are used to assess severity.

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

The MMSE is the test that your doctor or specialist will most commonly use for the assessment of Alzheimer's disease, as recommended by NICE (the National Institute of Clinical Excellence) in the UK. It is sometimes shortened to the MTS (Mental Test Score).

The MMSE takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is scored out of 30 and tests a variety of different areas:
  • Orientation to Time: you will be asked a few questions regarding the day's date, year, and season
  • Orientation to Space: you will be questioned about where you are currently - the building, city and surrounding area
  • Registration: you will be asked to repeat 3 words
  • Language: you will be requested to name 3 everyday objects
  • Reading: you will need to read a command and follow it e.g. "close your eyes"
  • Repetition: you will need to repeat a phase said to you
  • Recall: you will be asked to remember the 3 words mentioned earlier
  • Calculation: you will be asked to keep subtracting successive units of 7 from 100 (e.g. 100, 93, 86, 79 etc)
  • Language: you will be asked to compete a 3 stage command
  • Drawing: you will need to copy a diagram shown to you

MMSE Results

The severity of Alzheimer's disease is dependent on the MMSE score:
  • mild: 21 - 26/30
  • moderate: 10 - 20/30
  • moderately severe: 10 - 14/30
  • severe: < 10

Further tests

There are other more sophisticated assessments that may be carried out by a specialist.

These include:
  • The Lawton Test
  • The Grober and Buschke test
  • The '5 words test'
  • The clock test
  • The CODEX (abbreviation of Cognitive Disorders Examination)

For more information on MMSE tests in Alzheimer's DIsease, please visit the NHS website:


Les tests  de mémoire dans la maladie d'Alzheimer
Les tests de mémoire dans la maladie d'Alzheimer
Pruebas de memoria para Alzheimer
Pruebas de memoria para Alzheimer
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Latest update on November 5, 2013 at 01:44 PM by Jeff.
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