Improving the diagnostic accuracy of the Mini-Mental State Examination

Acta Neurol Scand. 1995 Aug;92(2):145-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.1995.tb01029.x.


Introduction: We determined the diagnostic accuracy of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) in an outpatient geriatric referral center in Switzerland.

Material & methods: DAT patients and elderly controls were assigned to two groups: a validation sample (70 DAT patients; 50 controls) and a cross-validation sample (133 DAT patients; 43 controls). A Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was generated to derive the optimal MMSE cut-off score in the validation sample.

Results: The optimal MMSE cut-off was < 26/30 (sensitivity of 74%, specificity of 100%). Adjustments for age and education were necessary. The cross-validation confirmed these findings.

Conclusion: iN A clinical setting the MMSE cut-off should be increased to < 26/30. A thorough neurobehavioral assessment is still necessary for a complete evaluation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Reproducibility of Results*