Memory Tests for Alzheimer's Disease

Memory tests are an essential to step in diagnosing in Alzheimer's disease. They are used to assess the severity of the disease's effects on the patient's capacity to recall information, both long and short term.

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for Alzheimer's

The MMSE, or the Mental Test Score (MTS), is the test that your doctor or specialist will most commonly use for the assessment of Alzheimer's disease.

The test takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is scored out of 30 and tests a variety of different areas. These include orientation to time, for which the patient will be asked a few questions regarding the day's date, year, and season; orientation to space, for which the patient will be questioned about where they are currently (i.e. the building, city, and surrounding area); registration, for which they will be asked to repeat three words; language, for which they will be requested to name three everyday objects; reading, for which they will need to read a command and follow it; repetition, for which they will need to repeat a phase said to them; recall, for which they will be asked to remember the three words mentioned earlier; calculation, for which they will be asked to perform a mathematical calculation; language, for which they will be asked to compete a three-stage command; and drawing for which they will need to copy a diagram shown to them.

The severity of Alzheimer's disease is determined by the patient's MMSE score. A score between 21 and 26/30 is considered mild, 10 and 20/30 is considered moderate, and 10 and 14/30 is considered moderately severe. A score below 10 is considered severe.

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, and the CODEX (i.e. Cognitive Disorders Examination).

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