Perform the Following:
- 3-minute recall of 3 words
- Clock drawing
First have the patient repeat 3 unrelated words a few times to ensure immediate memory. Then go on with your history or physical for 3 minutes, & assess 3-minute recall:
- Recalls 3 out of 3 = No dementia
- Recalls 0 out of 3 = Dementia
- Recalls 1 or 2 out of 3 means you go on to Clock-Drawing
Draw a circle for the patient. Then, ask them to do the following:
- Write in the numbers 1-12
- Draw the hands for either of two times: 11:10, or 8:20.
If the drawing is correct for both the numbers & times, there’s No Dementia. If either is incorrect, in the context of also having missed 1-2 of the 3-word recall, it’s Dementia.
===========In terms of the 3-word recall, the following groups have been validated:
- Banana – Sunrise – Chair
- Daughter – Heaven – Mountain
- Village – Kitchen – Baby
- River – Nation – Finger
- Captain – Garden – Picture
- Leader – Season – Table
If you’re speaking to a patient in a foreign language, pick a group for which you’re sure your translation employs common vernacular. For example, in Spanish, the word for “sunrise” can vary enormously depending on what part of what country a person comes from.
In terms of Clock-Drawing, be sure there’s no clock visible to the patient. Allow no more than 3 minutes to complete the task. Refusal to draw the clock counts as “incorrect”.