Mental status exam

Mental status exams are simple tests that are used to evaluate suspected memory loss or abnormal thinking processes.

A mental status exam can help assess:

  • Thought processes.
  • Language skills.
  • Ability to remember shapes and objects and their locations relative to each other in space (spatial relations skills).
  • Ability to know the day and time, where and who a person is, and who other people are (orientation skills).

Most tests are completed by the person being evaluated. Others may be completed by the caregiver or someone in close contact with the person.

Last Updated: June 17, 2009

Author: Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Peter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology

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