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Mini-Mental State Examination, a simple test to diagnose Alzheimer’s in advance

Elderly couple

Being able to detect a disease in advance is the best way to deal with it. Thanks to the Mini-Mental State Examination it is possible to detect dementia in advance and improve its course.

Life expectancy rises and with it also the probability of developing a form of dementia . Dementia generally indicates a decline in mental capacity, sometimes mild, sometimes such as to interfere with the simplest daily activities. The most common form of mental deterioration is Alzheimer’s disease: this disease makes up about seventy percent of cases of dementia.

Often, being able to detect the development of a disease in advance is the best way to deal with it. In fact, although diseases such as Alzheimer’s cannot be cured, by tackling them ahead of time it is possible to improve their course. For this purpose, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was born, a short test that allows to evaluate the cognitive state of a patient.

Mini-Mental State Examination: what is it?

The Mini-Mental State Examination is a short test that allows you to evaluate the state of a person’s cognitive functions . The test, although considered very reliable, is not a certain tool and, after obtaining the results, more detailed examinations may be necessary.

The test is based on a score out of thirty. A result close to thirty is considered optimal , although sometimes it could be due to a high level of schooling of the patient, rather than an excellent level of cognitive functions. In any case, the test takes into account the possible worsening of the mental state in older people . It is a normal process, far from deleterious. However, usually only memory is involved in this process and the subject’s autonomy is not jeopardized.

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The Mini-Mental State Examination, abbreviated MMSE, tests various cognitive areas. It is about spatial and temporal orientation, concentration and memory, ability to perform simple calculations and to retain information. We also evaluate language and manual skills .

Results and evaluations

As stated earlier, the Mini-Mental State Examination is a thirty point test. If the patient achieves a result equal to or less than eighteen points , the level of impairment of his cognitive skills is serious . A score between eighteen and twenty-three points indicates an average level of impairment. With a result equal to or less than twentysix we are in a borderline situation, better scores are instead considered ideal

Following the test, to be carried out by an authorized doctor , it may be necessary to carry out a more thorough screening.

Did you know that reducing stress helps prevent dementia ?

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