The need to test individuals over age 50 annually to determine if they are
developing signs of dementia has become clear:
Ashford et al., 2006;
Ashford et al., 2007;
Ashford et al., 2007a;
The current issue is at what point this screening should begin and what screening tests
should be used. A recent article in JAMA (Holsinger et al., 2007)
discusses a variety of screening tests that might be used.
One of the tests reviewed in this article, the Folstein Mini-Mental State Exam (1975),
was provided in the past, as an electronic form by this site.
As a group of items to be arithmetically summed, the MMSE is no longer recommended by this site for several reasons,
including those listed by Holsinger et al. Additional reasons include: complaints of
copyright infringement by PAR, no resources to fight this complaint, the far outdated nature of this test.
and the poor cost-efficiency of the MMSE relative to several other tests. Accordingly,
this test is no longer available to the public at this site and is not recommended for any use.
At this time, specific recommendations for screening patients are under development.
However, there are several excellent tests available that are superior in both efficiency and screening accuracy.
The Brief Alzheimer Screen (BAS)
The Memory Impairment Screen (MIS)
Another brief screen available here is the A-Screen,
a test that is recommended for primary care practitioners
to screen patients over the age of 60 years for possible
cognitive impairment. One alternative is to complete the form provided
here and allow this form to calculate an estimate of the
relative number of years into Alzheimer's disease suggested by
the performance on the individual items. The extended
testing, which provides a broader picture, is
recommended for assessment of patients that do not pass the
BLT/Ashford - a computerized
screening test that is under development:
developments available on the web:
guidelines do not yet recommend screening????????
are good screening tests available and good reasons to use
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Ashford, M.D., Ph.D.
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