DementiaRoadmap Wales

Promoting living well with dementia across Wales

Cognitive tests

Various psychological tests are available to be used to test for complaints of memory problems or when a diagnosis of dementia is being considered. Although the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) was the most commonly used test it is not now recommended because of copyright reasons and ceiling and floor effects in early and late dementia respectively.

Recommended tests include:

  • the Abbreviated Mental Test Score (AMTS)
  • the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG)
  • the Mini-Cog
  • the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), and
  • the Functional Activities Questionnaire.

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  • Helping you to assess cognition: A practical toolkit for cliniciansMarch 12 2013This toolkit published by the Alzheimer's Society provides guidance to clinicians about what cognitive function tests are available and how they may be used in clinical practice.
  • Addenbrookes cognitive examination-IIIMay 12 2014The Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination-III (ACE) is one of the most popular and commonly used cognitive tests used in dementia clinics and in the assessment of other neurological disorders.
  • Six Item Cognitive Impairment TestThe Six Item Cognitive Impairment Test (6CIT) is a brief cognitive function test which takes less than five minutes and is widely used in primary care settings.
  • NICE Clinical guideline CG42 Dementia: supporting people with dementia and their carers in health and social careMarch 1 2011This guideline, published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), makes specific recommendations on Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), fronto temporal dementia, vascular dementia and mixed dementias, as well as recommendations that apply to all types of dementia.
  • General practitioner assessment of cognitionMay 12 2014The General practitioner assessment of cognition (GPCOG) is a reliable, valid and efficient tool to use to screen for dementia in primary care settings for people with carers.
  • Montreal cognitive assessmentThe Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a rapid screening instrument for mild cognitive dysfunction suitable for use in primary care settings.
  • Unlocking Diagnosis: The key to improving the lives of people with dementiaJuly 4 2012This report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia (APPG) explores the barriers to dementia diagnosis in the UK. It makes recommendations to improve diagnosis rates and provide better post diagnosis support for people with dementia.
  • ACEmobileMay 13 2014ACEmobile is a mobile-friendly version of the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination (ACE-III), a popular and commonly-used screening tools for dementia.
  • Mini-CogMay 12 2014The Mini-Cog is a brief cognitive function test to screen for cognitive impairment in older adults in the primary care setting.
  • Abbreviated mental test scoreThe Abbreviated mental test score (AMTS) was developed in 1972 for assessing cognition. The test takes around five minutes and is widely used, particularly in UK general hospital settings.

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