Mental Status Exams

Mental Status Exams

You forget things. It’s not just the occasional name or date, or misplaced keys, but people and events that have been part of the fabric of your life. Sometimes the way home from work doesn't seem familiar. You go in the kitchen to make dinner and can't follow the recipe. You've gotten some notices on your electric or water bill, after years without a late payment. But you're in your late 40s, so it couldn't be Alzheimer's disease, could it? It might. These things can sometimes happen to anyone...

Medical history

During a medical history and physical exam, the doctor will ask the affected person and a close relative or partner about recent illnesses or other life events that could cause or other symptoms such as behavioral problems. The doctor may ask the person to bring in all medicines he or she takes. This can help the doctor find out if the problem might be caused by the person being overmedicated or having a .

Although a person may have more than one illness causing dementia, symptoms sometimes can distinguish one form from another. For example, early in the course of, people may display a lack of social awareness and develop obsessions with eating, neither of which occurs early in other dementias.

Mental status exam

A doctor or other health professional will conduct a . This test usually involves such activities as having the person tell what day and year it is, repeat a series of words, draw a clock face, and count back from 100 by 7s.

Other tests have been developed to diagnose dementia. Doctors can use one such test, Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination, to distinguish from frontotemporal dementia. Orientation, attention, and memory are worse in, while language skills and ability to name objects are worse in frontotemporal dementia.

Lab tests

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