Sunday, February 16

Simple Tests for Dementia


Simple dementia tests that anyone can do, from HealthDirect. (Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor.).

If there's a worry about memory problems and about the possibility of dementia, it's important that the general practitioner uses a memory test, such as the Mini-Mental State Examination, to screen for the possibility of dementia. This doesn't diagnose the dementia, but it does mean something's up, and maybe there should be a referral to a specialist for further testing.

What's in a Dementia Test?

When we're looking to test someone for their memory to see if they have got an underlying dementia, we ask things like,
  • Do they know what day of the week it is?
  • Do they know what year it is?
  • Do they know where they are at the moment?
We also test their memory by giving them three or four words to remember, which we ask later.

We get them to do some simple drawings, like drawing a clock face, to see if they're still able to remember how to put the numbers in and the hands in, and then we ask them if they remembered those three words we gave them earlier.

So they're fairly simple tests initially, but if there's problems with those, then we need to dig a little deeper.


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