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The Dementia Test Explained

The Dementia Test Explained

It is normal to have some level of forgetfulness or confusion as you get into old age, but dementia is a very serious condition whereby you can lose your ability to rationalize or understand things that affect your everyday life, health and well-being. However, this does not mean that a person with dementia is crazy and only by understanding how the Dementia Test is used and what it is looking for can you truly understand the true depth of dementia.

The Dementia Test is also known as the Mini-Cog test, is used for screening patients for Alzheimer’s. It takes approximately three to five minutes to do, but it deals specifically with cognition, or the ability to understand and comprehend basic things. Specifically, the test has two parts measuring short-term recollections of recent experiences and conversations, and the ability to recall things that a person has seen only minutes earlier.

Dementia Test Specifics

The Dementia Test is conducted by a doctor who will ask a person to repeat 3 words that have absolutely no relation to each other. The person is then instructed to draw a clock face, complete with the hands and numbers. Thereafter, the three words that were mentioned to the person are brought up again by asking the person if they remember them.

Scoring the Dementia Test

Scoring for the Dementia Test is based on their recollection of the three words and the ability to redraw the clock that they drew earlier from memory. If the person has dementia, they will probably recall none of the words and be unable to redraw the clock properly. However, if the person does not have dementia, they might only remember one word, but their clock will be completely normal.

Only an Initial Diagnosis

The reason that the Dementia Test is often used as one of the diagnostic tools for dementia is that it does not look at the language or educational level of the individual that is being tested. The test is a fairly accurate indicator that dementia may be present, though it is not the only tool used and typically requires further investigation and use of other tools to make a final determination as to whether or not a person has dementia.

The Dementia Test has many advantages that make it very useful and accurate. In comparison to the MMSE, the test uses simple things to show if there are memory issues, though there has been some controversy as to whether or not the clock drawing aspect can be misinterpreted by the person administering the test.

The accuracy and fairness of the Dementia Test is rarely disputed, though the majority of medical professionals will not use it as the sole basis of their diagnosis. The use of this test is considered to be a productive and positive first step towards a final diagnosis only.

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