J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2006 Jun;10(1):33-40.

Usefulness of Brief Screening Tests for Early Detection of Dementia

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Neuropsychiatry, Inje University, College of Medicine, Sanggye Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Neuropsychiatry, Inje University, College of Medicine, Ilsanpaik Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 4Seoul Dongjakgu Health Family Support Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Neuropsychiatry, Soochunhyang University, College of Medicine, Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. hanyjung@schbc.ac.kr


There has been great progress in diagnosis of dementia. Diagnosis of dementia involves the early detection of a significant cognitive deficit from normal aging and differential diagnostic approach of the cause of the cognitive impairment. Although there is controversy whether screening tools are useful for early detection of dementia, many brief screening tests have been developed and widely used. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is the brief instrument most commonly used to assess cognitive changes in dementia. The MMSE has limitations, but it has been translated into many languages with modest adjustments. It also has been translated and standardized into three Korean versions (MMSE-K, K-MMSE, MMSE-KC) and there are several studies comparing the diagnostic validities between Korean MMSE versions. All three versions have good validities for screening dementia. Other brief screening instruments that have been translated and standardized in Korean may have clinical utility in early diagnosis of dementia. In conclusion, use of screening instruments such as the MMSE, especially in high risk elderly group can be recommended to increase early detection of dementia.


Dementia; Screening test; Early diagnosis
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