The objective of this study was to assess the convergent validity of a 26-point Telephone Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) in a longitudinal cohort of 46 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Paired in-person and telephone MMSE observations were collected within 35 days of each other. The setting was the Stanford/VA Alzheimer's Center in Palo Alto, California, and patients' residences. The 30-point Folstein MMSE was administered in-person, and a 26-point telephone version of the MMSE, adapted from the Adult Lifestyles and Function Interview (ALFI)-MMSE. Total scores for the in-person and telephone MMSE versions correlated strongly (Pearson's r =.88, P <.001). Hearing impairment and education level did not significantly affect telephone-based performance. The Telephone MMSE can be used to validly estimate in-person MMSE scores of patients with AD. Use of this practical measure can enhance reassessment if returning to the clinic is difficult or if a change in the patient's medical condition merits a check of mental status by telephone.