(Photo Credit: filipino-store.com)

One of the neuropsychological tests doctors conduct for screening (N.B.  Screening not Diagnosing) dementia is Folstein’s Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE) which uses the three objects for immediate and delayed recall.

This is how it normally goes:

Doctor: I’m going to say three words. After I say them, say them back to me

Mango  Paper  Table

Patient:  Mango Paper Table

Doctor: I’d like you to remember these three words because later I am going to ask  for them again

(After a brief distraction which may be the Serial Sevens, the doctor again asks the patient those three words)

Doctor: Do you remember the three words I asked you to remember.

It would be that the number of words a patient remembers  or the speed with which they remember them depends on the magnitude or degree of the impairment.

One patient was having a particularly hard time getting past the first word she recalled – MANGO

I encouraged her to on and tell me the other two words.

As she was obviously having a difficult time recalling the other two words, again, even if she was not going to get a point for this, I decided to give her a cue.

Doctor: You got MANGO right! Now tell me what goes with mango?

Patient: What goes with mango, she uttered and hummed at the same time. I think…

Doctor: Ok, go on..

Patient: I think if it’s green mango, it goes well with bagoong! (Shrimp paste)


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