The MMSE test

The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most commonly used test for complaints of problems with memory or other mental abilities.

What is the MMSE test?

The MMSE test can be used by clinicians to help diagnose dementia and to help assess its progression and severity. It consists of a series of questions and tests, each of which scores points if answered correctly. The MMSE tests a number of different mental abilities, including a person's memory, attention and language.

MMSE is only one part of assessment for dementia. Clinicians will consider a person's MMSE score alongside their history, symptoms, a physical exam and the results of other tests, possibly including brain scans.

The MMSE can also be used to assess changes in a person who has already been diagnosed with dementia. It can help to give an indication of how severe a person's symptoms are and how quickly their dementia is progressing. Again, results should be considered alongside other measures of how the person is coping together with clinical judgement.

Assessment process and tests

Find out more about the dementia diagnosis and assessment process.

Find out more

Further reading