NEW YORK, June 20 (Praxis Press) The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a widely used diagnostic tool for dementia, but its use as a predictive indicator of Alzheimer disease (AD) has not been established. Tierney and colleagues performed a study to determine the accuracy of the MMSE in predicting emergent AD patients. They also evaluated the accuracy and usefulness of an abbreviated version of the MMSE. Researchers examined 183 participants with symptoms suggestive of memory impairment and compared them to 165 participants without dementia or memory impairment. After 2 years, 29 participants met criteria for AD, 98 did not develop dementia, 18 developed vascular lesions or non-AD dementia, and 20 did not return. Results suggest that the full or abbreviated MMSE is useful in predicting emergent AD in patients who have positive test results. However, the test is not recommended for use as a screening or diagnostic instrument....

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