June 11, 2011

How to Cheat on the Mental Mini-Status Exam

Given that researchers plan to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease ten or twenty years earlier, no one is too young to practice cheating on the Mini Mental Status Exam .

Make sure all the answers are on your smart phone before your neurologist visit. 

If the examiner asks you not to look at your smart phone, offer to teach him how to use it so he won't have to waste so much time "remembering" Smirking casts doubt on your sincerity.

Mini-Mental Status Examination

The Mini-Mental Status Examination offers a quick and simple way to quantify cognitive function and screen for cognitive loss. It tests the individual’s orientation, attention, calculation, recall, language and motor skills.

Each section of the test involves a related series of questions or commands. The individual receives one point for each correct answer.To give the examination, seat the individual in a quiet, well-lit room. Ask him/her to listen carefully and to answer each question as accurately as he/she can.

Don’t time the test but score it right away. To score, add the number of correct responses. The individual can receive a maximum score of 30 points.

A score below 20 usually indicates cognitive impairment. ___

What is today’s date?
 What is the month? 
What is the year?
 What is the day of the week today? 
What season is it?

Whose home is this? 
What room is this? 
What city are we in? 
What county are we in? 
What state are we in?
Examiner: Confiscate all smart phones and ipods before administering this part of the  test. Be aware your patient will be hiding them.
Ask if you may test his/her memory. Then say “ball”, “flag”, “tree” clearly and slowly, about 1 second for each. After you have said all 3 words, ask him/her to repeat them – the first repetition determines the score (0-3):
 Examiner: Suspect surreptitious text messaging to oneself.
Ask the individual to begin with 100 and count backwards by 7. Stop after 5 subtractions. Score the correct subtractions. 
Patient: Make sure to teach your child to count backwards first so they can ace this exam.

Ask the individual to spell the word ”WORLD” backwards. The score is the number of letters in correct position.

Patient: Silly you, learning to spell forwards. No wonder there are so many people with dementia.

Ask the individual to recall the 3 words you previously asked him/her to remember.
Ball  Flag Tree 

Examiner: Suspect his mental acuity if he isn't consulting his cell phone.
Show the individual a wristwatch and ask him/her what it is. Repeat for pencil.

Examiner: Don't award any points if patient says the wristwatch was  a primitive cell phone and a pencil was a primitive ipad.

Ask the individual to repeat the following: “No if, ands, or buts”

Examiner:  "No if, ands, and buts, this is the stupidest test I have ever taken" still earns full credit.

Give the individual a plain piece of paper and say, “Take the paper in your hand, fold it in half, and put it on the floor.” 
Examiner: Duck the paper airplane headed toward your eyes.

Hold up the card reading: “Close your eyes” so the individual can see it clearly. Ask him/her to read it and do what it says. Score correctly only if the individual actually closes his/her eyes. 
Examiner: Disobedience is unmistakable proof of dementia.

Give the individual a piece of paper and ask him/her to write a sentence. It is to be written spontaneously. It must contain a subject and verb and be sensible.
Examiner: "You are a fucking idiot" is an eminently sensible sentence.  Control your emotions.

Give the individual a piece of paper and ask him/her to copy a design of two intersecting shapes. One point is awarded for correctly copying the shapes. All angles on both figures must be present, and the figures must have one overlapping angle.
Patient: The examiner is testing your motor skills. Informing him you still skateboard will not improve  your score.

Total Score:_____


No comments: