The mini–mental state examination (MMSE) or Folstein test is a brief 30-point questionnaire test that is used to screen for cognitive impairment. It is commonly used in medicine to screen for dementia. It is also used to estimate the severity of cognitive impairment and to follow the course of cognitive changes in an individual over time, thus making it an effective way to document an individual's response to treatment.
In about 10 minutes it samples functions including arithmetic, memory and orientation. It was introduced by Folstein et al. in 1975, but is very similar to, or even directly incorporates, tests which were in use previous to its publication. This test is not a mental status examination. The standard MMSE form which is currently published by Psychological Assessment Resources is based on its original 1975 conceptualization, with minor subsequent modifications by the authors.
Other tests are also used, such as the Hodkinson abbreviated mental test score (1972, geriatrics) or the General Practitioner Assessment Of Cognition as well as longer formal tests for deeper analysis of specific deficits.
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