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What basic cognitive test is often used to help diagnose dementia?

Mental status testing, which is part of the neurologic examination, is crucial in diagnosing dementia and delirium. The physician will ask the person to perform simple mental exercises such as counting backward by sevens, obeying written instructions, memorizing words and then recalling them after 10 minutes, and copying designs. This testing of mental status allows the physician to assess orientation, memory, comprehension, language skills, and ability to perform simple calculations.

The Mini-Mental State Examination, known as the MMSE, is used by doctors to help diagnose dementia.

The exam asks patients to perform several mental tasks, such as counting backward or repeating words in the proper order. The doctor assigns points for correct answers and makes adjustments for education level. Scores within a certain range indicate dementia.

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