Limitation of the Mini-Mental State Examination for the Detection of Amnesia

Ralph H.b. Benedict, Jason Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study demonstrates the limitation of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for detecting the amnestic syndrome. Although neuropsychological testing yielded severe memory deficits in all of the 11 amnesic patients tested, six of the patients obtained total MMSE scores above the standard cutoff score of 24. Further, only six patients completely failed the MMSE recall item, and three patients performed errorlessly on this item. Results from one postencephalitic patient are presented in detail. She performed the serial sevens task very quickly and subsequently recalled all three of the to-be-remembered words. Her performance on other memory tests confirmed that a longer retention interval than that provided by the MMSE is necessary to elicit her memory disorder. (J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol 1992;5:233–237).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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