Mini-Mental State Examination

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The Mini-mental state examination is used to measure cognitive impairment in older adults. According to Folstein et al, it can be used to screen for cognitive impairment, to estimate the severity of cognitive impairment at a given point in time, to follow the course of cognitive changes in an individual over time, and to document an individual’s response to treatment.[1] It assesses different subset of cognitive status including comprehension, reading, writing, orientation, and drawing abilities. 

According to some studies, patients with Alzheimer's disease score significantly lower on orientation to time and place, and recall compared to patients with dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia and Parkinson's disease dementia.[2][3][4] However, it should not be used to exclusively diagnose or differentiate the different types of dementia.[5]  


Scoring and Interpretation of Scores

The Mini-mental state examination is scored on a scale of 0-30 with scores > 25 interpreted as normal cognitive status.

  • Moderate cognitive impairment: 0-17
  • Mild cognitive impairment: 18-23
  • No cognitive impairment: 24-30



  1. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR "Mini-mental state". A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res. 1975 Nov; 12(3):189-98.
  2. Ala, TA; Hughes, LF; Kyrouac, GA; Ghobrial, MW; Elble, RJ. "The Mini-Mental Status exam may help in the differentiation of dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer's disease". International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.  June 2002;17 (6): 503–9. 
  3. Jefferson, AL; Cosentino, SA; Ball, SK; Bogdanoff, B; Leopold, N; Kaplan, E; Libon, DJ. "Errors produced on the mini-mental status examination and neuropsychological test performance in Alzheimer's disease, ischemic vascular dementia, and Parkinson's disease". The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 2002;14 (3): 311–20. 
  4. Palmqvist, S; Hansson, O; Minthon, L; Londos, E. "Practical suggestions on how to differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies from Alzheimer's disease with common cognitive tests". International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. December 2009;24 (12): 1405–12. 
  5. Arevalo-Rodriguez I.; Smailagic N.; Ciapponi A.; Sanchez-Perez E.; Giannakou A.; Figuls M.; Cullum S. "Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) for the detection of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI)". 2015.