The mini–mental state examination (MMSE) is also known as the Folstein test. It is a short test of 30 questions that is used to screen for memory problems or identify dementia symptoms.

Why Doctors Use MMSE

A MMSE is a test that health care practitioners use to determine the level of cognitive impairment. It is considered to be an effective tool to determine an individual’s cognitive changes over a period of time as well as response to treatment. However, it is not a test to determine mental status.

What MMSE Measures

This test takes about 10 to 15 minutes and assesses an individual’s memory, orientation, math skills, and his or her ability to concentrate. In addition to these assessments, other factors are taken into consideration when considering a person’s score.

The MMSE test utilizes easy questions that address a number of different areas. The areas tested include:

  • Time and place
  • Ability to repeat a list of words
  • Math problem solving, such as the counting by sevens
  • Ability to understand language and its use
  • Ability to recall
  • Basic motor skills

MMSE Results

The test has a 30 point rating system.

  • Normal- A Score of 25 points and higher are considered within normal range
  • Moderate- A Score between 10 and 19 are considered to be indicative of moderate stages of dementia
  • Severe- A Score than 10 points generally has severe cognitive impairment

MMSE Results Influenced By Other Factors

There are some individuals that have a higher level of education and achieve a very high score, but have significant cognitive deficits. So an individual’s level of education must be taken into consideration.

The test score may also be affected by a person’s age.

For information about memory care communities in your area search for dementia care communities by state or call (888) 364-5752 to speak to your local Care Advisor.