Download the SLUMS Dementia / Alzheimer’s Test / Exam

June 4, 2009

The Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) is a brief oral/written exam given to people that are suspected to have dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. The exam serves as a tool to indicate whether a doctor should consider further testing to diagnose dementia. The SLUMS was created by the Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Saint Louis University. Early detection of dementia may lead to treatment that slows the disease. This exam is brief and easy to administer. The SLUMS is widely used by professionals.

alzheimers_doctor_exam

DOWNLOAD THE SLUMS EXAM

DOWNLOAD THE SLUMS EXAM INSTRUCTIONS

DOWNLOAD THE SLUMS EXAM IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES

Unlike the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), a similar exam, the SLUMS is not proprietary, it is absolutely FREE to use. There is also another, newer exam available for use and download – the Test Your Memory (TYM) Alzheimer’s exam.

If you administer this test on someone, remember that it is just a tool designed to assist in determining a dementia diagnosis. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have dementia, see your doctor.

If this post was helpful, please help me by telling someone you know about ElderGuru.com.

{ 19 comments }

Dorothy Anderson September 29, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I would like to look at the SLUMS Mini mental exam.
Thank you
Dorothy Anderson

Nina Tumosa September 29, 2009 at 4:20 pm

E-mail me at aging@slu.edu and I will send you a pdf of the SLUMS exam as well as a file of instructions. Thank you for your interest.

–Nina Tumosa

Derrick September 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm

I have updated the link in this post. It now goes to the most current version.

Pearl Freese February 17, 2010 at 10:30 am

I copied the SLUMS but would like information on the how to interprete the results such as pt unable to answer #__ which is indicative of….

Linda Anderson Armstrong, RN March 4, 2010 at 9:13 am

I have a few questions in relation to administering and scoring the SLUMS.

1. Question#6: Are all animal resposes excepted ?(Ex: Birds, rodents, reptiles…)
2. Question #7: Do all five objects have to be recalled in the exact order they were given?
3. Question #8: Do you give each individual number set them get their response before going on to the next number set or do you list all three (87, 649, 8537)set and then have the patient reply?
4. #10: Does the X have to be within the confines of the triangle or can it extend beyond the diagram?

Thanks you for clerifiying these scoring instructions.
Sincerely,
Linda A. Armstrong, RN
Geriatric Assessment Coordinator

Nina Tumosa March 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

Dear Linda,

Thank you for your interesting questions. I have answered your questions IN CAPITAL LETTERS right after your questions below.

1. Question#6: Are all animal responses excepted ?(Ex: Birds, rodents, reptiles…)
YES, ALL ANIMAL NAMES ARE ACCEPTED. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR A FARMER TO NAME ALL FARM ANIMALS OR A BIRDER TO NAME 20 DIFFERENT KINDS OF BIRDS. I ONCE HAD AN ENTOMOLOGIST NAME 6 DIFFERENT TYPES OF ANTS AND 11 DIFFERENT KINDS OF SPIDERS (I GAVE HER FULL CREDIT EVEN THOUGH I PERSONALLY DON’T KNOW IF SHE WAS RIGHT OR NOT. ANYONE SHOWING THAT MUCH IMAGINATION IS NOT YET COGNITIVELY IMPAIRED).
2. Question #7: Do all five objects have to be recalled in the exact order they were given? THEY DO NOT HAVE TO BE RECALLED IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY WERE GIVEN.
3. Question #8: Do you give each individual number set them get their response before going on to the next number set or do you list all three (87, 649, 8537)set and then have the patient reply? GIVE THEM EACH OF THE NUMBERS SEPARATELY: EIGHT,SEVEN AND ONCE THEY RESPOND WITH SEVEN, EIGHT GIVE THEM THEN SIX, FOUR, NINE AND ONCE THEY RESPOND WITH NINE, FOUR, SIX (OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE CANNOT DO THIS QUESTION) THEN GIVE THEM EIGHT, FIVE, THREE, SEVEN
4. #10: Does the X have to be within the confines of the triangle or can it extend beyond the diagram? IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE TRIANGLE

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A COPY OF OUR TRAINING DVD (YES, IT IS ON LINE BUT SOME PEOPLE DO NEED TO TRAIN PERSONNEL IN AREAS WHERE THERE IS NO INTERNET ACCESS) THEN JUST CONTACT ME AT TUMOSAN@SLU.EDU, GIVE ME YOUR MAILING ADDRESS, AND I WILL SEND YOU A COPY OF THE DVD. –NINA

Laura Cardillo July 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I was wondering what the benefit of using the SLUMS as opposed to the Folstein’s Mini Mental Exam would be? I do like the SLUMS but it doesn’t help to gauge stage of dementia.

Pearl Freese August 17, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Is there a different test to use when our client is visually impaired?
If not how would you score this test if visually impaired?

Nina Tumosa August 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

When we have a patient who is visually impaired we eliminate questions 9 and 10 which reduces the scoring from 30 to 24.

Then, in order to determine which scoring range the new number is in, we do the mathematical comparison.

For example, a score of 20 out of 24 is equivalent to 25 out of 30 and you score the person as having a 25: i.e., 20/24 equals 25/30.

Anonymous August 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hello, Is there a coding & reimbursement site for the SLUMS exam ? Thank you

Anonymous August 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm

There is no billing code for the SLUMS exam. However, its use allows you to bill at a higher level of visit.

Nin Tumosa August 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Message for Laura Cardillo:
The SLUMS exam score has ranges that predict the level of dementia just as the Folstein Mini-Mental does but it also shows the level of cognitive impairment, in the absence of dementia; i.e., the SLUMS exam is more sensitive and specific. It is sensitive in the range of mild cognitive impairment.

Julie Skilton October 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I also have some clarifying questions about the test administration. They might seem obvious but I want to be sure I’m doing this right. For question 4 yougive each object and then have the person say it back, rather than giving the whole group at once, right? For question 7, can you clarify that the largest is the one that has the most area? (some people seem to think the rectangle might be taller and they ask for a definition of largest). Finally people often say for question 10 that Jill went back to work “when the children were out of the house” ; this does not equate to when they were teenagers in my book, but I’m wondering if it could be a dialect issue (the way many oldsters will call a pen ‘a pencil’ even if they are cognitively intact). Thanks so much for clarifying. I’m finding it to be an interesting alternative to the MMSE.

Sincerely,
Julie Skilton

Nin Tumosa October 25, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Julie,

Regarding question4: yes, have them repeat each word back to you, one at a time. This ensures that you know they heard to word correctly.

Regarding Q #7: By largest, we mean the item with the largest area. The object with the greatest area is the square with is twice the size of both the traiangle and the rectangle.

Regarding question #10: I accept the answer: when the children are grown. It is not completely accurate but I made a decision long ago to accept it as an answer and I continue to do so. I would also accept “when the children are out of the house.”

–Nina

anonymous December 15, 2010 at 7:55 pm

I was wondering if a person is deaf can you modify the test, and indicate was modified, by having a written exam?

Georgi Gentry February 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I am a certified geriatric care manager & would like a copy of the training DVD. The above questions & answers have been helpful. Thank you.

Derrick February 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Georgi, you may have to contact Nina directly.

Rollin March 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm


I have dyslexia and could NOT past this test even when I was young,
please advise .
At 80 my VERY short term memory is giving me problems?

Rollin

Jane Teng April 20, 2011 at 11:56 am

Hi There,

I have a good friend who suffered a stroke at the age of 37 in 2006. I would like to help him find out his mental state to support his work allocation and performance. Can I know how should I intepret the results of the test (SLUMS) with reference to more specific cognitive ability. Thank you.

Jane 20 Apr 2011

Previous post:

Next post:

r57.txt, r57shell, r57 shell, r57, c99.txt, c99shell, c99 shell, c99.txtr57.txt, r57shell, r57 shell, r57, c99.txt, c99shell, c99 shell, c99.txt