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Diagnostic Tests – How Mental Status Testing is used to Diagnose Alzheimer’s disease

Various tests are performed to assess the mental status of a patient who is being tested for Alzheimer’s disease. During these tests, a doctor will ask many questions and may ask the patient being tested to draw pictures, write words, or solve math problems.  Two of these tests are the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) and the Mini-Cog.

During the MMSE, the patient is asked many questions to test their memory and mental skills. Such questions are what the year is or counting backwards.  The patient may also be asked to draw a picture. During the Mini-Cog, the patient is asked to remember and repeat names of three common objects, draw a clock face showing all 12 numbers in the right places, and draw hands on the clock that depicts a time that is selected by the person administering the test.

Additional resources that provide more information on how Neuropsychological Testing: