The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), first introduced by Folstein and colleagues in 1975,1 has become a standard tool for cognitive assessment in the clinical setting. The MMSE facilitates the detection of mental status changes, particularly in the elderly, and thereby enhances patient care. Bedside mental status testing without a standardized approach is subject to considerable interpretive bias, dependent on the skill and experience of the examiner, and often completely neglected. The MMSE provides a structured approach to mental status testing that screens for intellectual impairment and allows comparison of performance across time and among patients or studies.2 The publication in this issue of JAMA of new data from Crum et al3 regarding the influence of age and education on the interpretation of the MMSE is welcome and further improves the utility of this instrument.
See also p 2386.
The MMSE comprises 30 questions with 10
Cummings JL. Mini-Mental State ExaminationNorms, Normals, and Numbers. JAMA. 1993;269(18):2420–2421. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500180112046