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Top Cognitive Tests for Alzheimer’s

No single test can detect whether or not someone has Alzheimer’s disease. Physicians (sometimes with the help of specialists like neurologists, neuropsychologists, etc.) use different diagnostic tools and techniques. Although doctors can usually tell if a patient has Alzheimer’s, determining the exact cause can be difficult. This article will talk about Cognitive tests for Alzheimer’s, like the Stroop test, but it’s essential to remember that these tests are not a replacement for medical exams.

Medical History

During the medical workup, the health care professional will review the person’s medical history, including mental history and a history of cognitive and behavioural changes. They will ask about any current or previous medical conditions and concerns, as well as any medications the patient is taking. The doctor will also ask about other family members’ primary health conditions, such as whether they have Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.

Top Cognitive Tests for Alzheimer’s

There are several quick and accurate cognitive tests for Alzheimer’s that are available to use. You shouldn’t use these screening tests as a replacement for full diagnostic tests, but you can do them anywhere, including at home, before your appointment.

These tests are suitable for determining if someone might have cognitive problems, like Alzheimer’s disease, or just general forgetfulness that comes with aging.

Each of them has unique characteristics and qualities.

Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)

Since 1975, when it was first used, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) has been an excellent method to determine if someone has Alzheimer’s.

The MMSE analyzes different cognitive skills, such as figuring out where to go, remembering words, paying attention and doing math, having language skills, and building things with your eyes. It takes around 10 minutes to complete. When evaluating scores, doctors will consider age, educational achievement, and ethnic background.


The Mini-Cog is a quick Alzheimer’s screening test that only takes 3-5 minutes to complete. This exam, which combines the clock-drawing test with a 3-item recall, can help determine whether or not someone has dementia. Even though the test is widely used and has mostly good reviews, a thorough review of the literature found that we needed more data to support its use as a reliable screening tool. Like other screening methods, it cannot replace a full diagnostic workup.

Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA)

The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a simple and quick test that helps doctors determine if a person has abnormal cognitive function and might need a more thorough examination for Alzheimer’s disease.

In contrast to the MMSE, the MoCA incorporates a clock-drawing test and an executive function test called Trails B.

Researchers have found that the test can find cognitive problems in people with Parkinson’s disease type 3 and other neurodegenerative diseases. It may also be able to predict dementia in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam (SLUMS)

Doctors can check for Alzheimer’s with the 11-item Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam (SLUMS). It is especially good at diagnosing people with mild cognitive problems but no dementia. It consists of questions like animal naming (similar to an oral fluency exam) and the recognition of geometric objects, and it has been studied with hundreds of veterans. ​

Stroop Test

The Stroop test, also known as the Stroop Color Word Test or the Stroop Effect, assesses someone’s intelligence. It dates back to the 1930s. It could help determine if someone has Alzheimer’s disease, moderate cognitive impairment, or another type of dementia.

Other Cognitive Tests For Alzheimer’s

Below are some other cognitive tests for Alzheimer’s

The AD-8 Informant Interview


Senior man with dementia looks at photos together with caregiver in nursing home

It is an 8-item questionnaire used to differentiate between those who have Alzheimer’s and those who do not. It is called an “informant-based assessment” because, instead of the patient, someone else (usually a spouse, child, or caregiver unrelated to the patient) is asked if there have been changes in some regions of cognition and functioning over the past few years.

Memory, attention, executive function, and activity interest are just a few. The AD8 has a yes-or-no structure; you can finish it in around 3 minutes.

The Clock-Drawing Test for Alzheimer’s

The Clock-Drawing Test is a quick and easy way to determine if someone has Alzheimer’s. Draw a clock, write all the numbers on it, and set the hands to 10 minutes after eleven. When clock drawing tests come out wrong, it could be because of problems with memory, executive function, or visual-spatial skills.

The 7-Minute Screen

This cognitive test has been found to help find moderate cognitive impairment, which other screening tests can sometimes miss.

The clock test, verbal fluency, orientation questions, and enhanced cued recall are all parts of the 7-Minute Screen.

The SAGE At-Home Test

The SAGE at-home test is made to be used at home and then submitted for review to a doctor after completion. It tests skills in several areas, such as memory, orientation, executive functioning, language and naming, and visual-spatial skills.

The Bottom Line

Remember that screening tests, even though they can be helpful, are just ways to find possible problems and decide if you need more testing.

Suppose a screening test reveals a potential problem.

In this scenario, you should consult a doctor for a comprehensive evaluation to see if your cognitive impairment is manageable or if dementia is existent.

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