Dementia presents a group of symptoms caused by changes in brain function. Symptoms include asking the same question numerous times, being disoriented about time, places and people, and neglecting personal hygiene and safety. There are different tests used to screen for dementia. One of the most commonly used tests is the clock test.
The clock test is a screening test for dementia. There are different versions of the test. However, all of them involve the patient drawing the face of a clock.
There are different methods for scoring the test. The quickest method involves dividing the clock into four parts, then counting the correct numbers in each part.
Besides being a quick and easy way to screen for dementia, the clock test is also screens for delirium and other neurological and psychiatric illnesses.
A correctly drawn clock indicates that cognition is intact. An abnormally drawn clock indicates problems prompting further examination.
The clock test is only a screening test. It is not used solely to make a diagnosis. Poor results are indicative of impairment, yet further evaluation and testing is needed to diagnosis dementia.
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