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The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE)
The Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the most commonly used test for complaints of memory problems[->0] or when a diagnosis of dementia[->1] is being considered. This factsheet is intended to provide information about the MMSE so that you know what to expect. Guidance on use

The MMSE is the test that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends when deciding whether a drug treatment for Alzheimer's disease[->2] should be prescribed. The lower the score (out of a total of 30), the more severe the disease. The latest (2011) NICE guidance recommends the three most widely available drugs for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease, and states that a person should usually score between 10 and 26 points (out of a maximum of 30 points) to be considered for treatment with Aricept (the trade name for donepezil), Exelon (rivastigmine) or Reminyl (galantamine). The same NICE guidance recommends use of a different kind of drug, Ebixa (memantine) for people with severe Alzheimer's disease (MMSE score less than 10) and for some of those with moderate disease (MMSE score 10-20). The 2011 NICE guidance on use of MMSE is as follows:

When using the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) to assess the severity of Alzheimer's disease, healthcare professionals[->3] should make sure that people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds and people with disabilities have equal access to treatment[->4]. In some cases, healthcare professionals should not rely on the MMSE test − or not rely on it alone − to assess the severity of Alzheimer's disease. This may be the case when assessing people who: ·have learning disabilities or other disabilities such as deafness or blindness ·have difficulty speaking (for example, after a stroke) or other difficulties with communicating ·are not fluent enough in a language in which the MMSE test can be given if this means that the MMSE test will not fairly reflect the...
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