Call to scrap MMSE for Alzheimer’s drugs

The Mini-Mental State Exam should be scrapped as the gatekeeper to subsidised drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, Australian experts say.

Currently, the anti-dementia drugs donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine are only subsidised for patients with a baseline score of 10 or above on the MMSE. Further subsidised treatment requires a two-point increase from baseline.

But Professor Gerard Byrne, head of psychiatry at the University of Queensland, said the exam was a “very crude” measure of cognitive performance,