Font Size

Mental Status Exam

Mental status exams are simple tests that are used to evaluate suspected memory loss or abnormal thinking processes.

A mental status exam can help assess:

  • Thought processes.
  • Language skills.
  • Ability to remember shapes and objects and their locations relative to each other in space (spatial relations skills).
  • Ability to know the day and time, where and who a person is, and who other people are (orientation skills).

Most tests are completed by the person being evaluated. Others may be completed by the caregiver or someone in close contact with the person.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerPeter J. Whitehouse, MD - Neurology
Last RevisedJune 23, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

To learn more visit

© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Medical Dictionary