Let’s face it. You think that you have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and accounts for up to eighty percent of cases. We all realize this, because we all know someone who is affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It should also make you feel better to know that most people with dementia are brought to their physician by their family. Self-reported memory loss does not appear to correlate with the development of dementia. Informant-reported memory loss (a family member reports the memory loss to the physician) is a better predictor of the presence (and future development) of dementia. Patients that have dementia have trouble retaining new information, handling complex tasks (such as balancing a checkbook), reasoning, and getting lost in familiar places.
Feel better. You do not get lost in the mall or your favorite boutique. You may not remember why you walked into a room 56 times today, but you remember where your hair salon is located. You can probably give me perfect directions...Right?
There is a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) that is the most widely used test for dementia in U.S. clinical practice. Have someone give you the following test. You may feel better about your memory loss almost immediately. If you don’t, you need to get your family to take you to your physician
Mini-Mental State Examination
5 pts. What is the complete date and season? (time, day, month, year, season)
5 pts. Where are you exactly? (1 pt. each; country, state, county, town, address)
1 pt. Name three objects.
(patient repeats the name of all three objects after hearing them said out loud)
5 pts. Count backwards from 100 by sevens (stop after five answers)
1 pt. each Spell WORLD backwards
1 pt. each Ask the patient to repeat the three objects you mentioned earlier
1 pt. each Show the patient a pencil and a wristwatch. Ask them to name the objects.
1 pt. Ask the patient to repeat the sentence: “No ifs, ands, or buts.” (one chance)
1 pt. each Follow a three-stage command
("Take a paper in your right hand, fold it in half, and put it on the floor.")
1 pt. On a blank piece of paper write: “Close your eyes."
Ask the patient to read it and do what it says.
1 pt. Give the patient a blank piece of paper. Ask them to write any sentence.
(The sentence must contain a noun and verb and be sensible.)
1 pt. Ask the patient to copy a design
(e.g. two intersecting shapes; all angles must be present and two must intersect)
Maximum score: 30 points A score less than 24 may indicate dementia