Mini-mental state examination Precautions The MMSE should not be used as the sole criterion for assessment during differential diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, as there are many disorders and conditions that affect cognitive functioning. The results of the MMSE should be interpreted in the context of the patient's history, a full mental status examination, a physical examination, and laboratory findings, if any. A patient's score on the MMSE must be interpreted according to his or her age and educational level. Whereas the median score is 29 for persons 18–24 years of age, it is 25 for those who are 80 or older. The median score is 22 for persons with a fourth-grade education or less; 26 for those who completed the eighth grade; and 29 for those who completed high school or college. There is a complete table available for interpreting MMSE scores according to the patient's reference groups for age and education level.
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