The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a test that is sometimes used to assess the severity of Alzheimer's disease. MMSE cannot provide a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease on its own, but it may help as part of a full individual assessment to help determine the treatment you should receive.
MMSE can be used to assess a number of different mental abilities including:
- short- and long-term memory
- attention span
- language and communication skills
- ability to plan
- ability to understand instructions.
The MMSE test consists of a series of tasks such as:
- memorising a short list of objects and then repeating the list back
- writing a short sentence that is grammatically correct, such as "the dog sat on the floor"
- correctly indentifying the current day of the week, followed by the date, the month, the season and the year.
The maximum score for the MMSE is -0. A score of -0 is classed as normal. If the test is used to classify the severity of Alzheimer's disease, it is classified as follows:
- mild - MMSE score of between 21 and 26
- moderate: - MMSE score of between 10 and 20
- moderately severe - MMSE score of between 10 and 1-
- severe - MMSE score of less than 10.