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Center of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease (CEAD)
at SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Quick Screening Test: The 7 Minute Screening Test

The 7 minute screening consists of 4 sets of questions that focus on orientation, memory, visuospatial skills and expressive language. These are the areas most likely to reveal deficiencies in Alzheimer's disease. Orientation is tested by asking subjects to identify the present month, date, and year, day of the week and time of day. The degree of error is graded, so that a one-day error in date is scored as one, while a one month error is scored as 5 errors.

To test memory, subjects are asked to identify 16 items drawn on 4 cards with the help of a clue or hint from the tester. After successful identification, the card is hidden and asked to recall the item after being given the clue again. After all 4 cards have been completed; the subject is distracted by having him/her recite the months of the year backwards. The subject is then asked to recall as many of the 16 items as possible, without any hints.

Visuospatial skills involve transforming 2 dimensional visual images into movement. This ability is measured by having the subject draw a clock face with the hands drawn at 20 minutes before 4 o'clock. Scoring is based on the correctness of the drawing (e.g. the hour hand should be shorter than the minute hand) to test expressive language, or verbal fluency, the subject is asked to name as many animals as possible within 1 minute.