Mini-mental Status Examination

Mini-mental Status Examination

Alternate Names

  • MMSE
  • mental status exam
  • mini-mental state exam

Definition

The Mini-Mental Status Exam is a five-minute screening test that is designed to evaluate basic mental (cognitive) function in a number of different areas. Some of the areas tested involve a person's ability to recall facts, to write, and to calculate numbers. The test provides a quick way to determine if more in-depth testing is needed.

Who is a candidate for the test?

Anyone suspected of mental decline or potential dementia can take this test, although the test is best suited for people older than age 60.

How is the test performed?

A psychologist or other appropriately trained healthcare professional can conduct this exam. The person taking the test is asked to perform a variety of verbal, nonverbal, and paper and pencil tasks in a quiet setting.

What is involved in preparation for the test?

There is no way to prepare for this exam. Individuals who take the test should:
  • come rested and relaxed
  • wear glasses or contact lenses, if they need them

What do the test results mean?

Each area of the test is given a score. These scores show if the person is functioning within the expected range for his or her age. If there are signs of a problem, the individual giving the test will suggest further testing.

« Back
 
 
BackTop