SLUMS Score for Cognitive Impairment

Screens patients with Alzheimer’s, other types of dementia or mild neurocognitive impairment.

Refer to the text below the calculator for more information on its administration and comparison to other similar screenings.


The Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) score is a clinician-administered method of screening for Alzheimer’s, other types of dementia or mild neurocognitive impairment.

The score is also known as the Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or the Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MNCD) and was designed as an alternative screening to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

The evaluation focuses on orientation, short-term memory, naming of animals, clock-drawing, calculations and recognition of geometric figures.


The SLUMS score interpretation provides different thresholds based on the education level of the patient.

Interpretation High school education Less than high school education
Normal 27 - 30 25 - 30
Mild neurocognitive disorder 21 - 26 20 - 24
Dementia 1 - 20 1 - 19

1

What day of the week is it?

2

What is the year?

3

What state are we in?

4

At this stage, the test administrator should ask the subject to remember five objects: Apple, Pen, Tie, House and Car, and let the subject know that they will be asked about them later.

* The 7th Question of the SLUMS Score will refer to this item.
5

You have $100 and you go to the store and buy a dozen apples for $3 and a tricycle for $20.

5a

How much did you spend?

5b

How much do you have left?

6

Please name as many animals as you can in one minute.

7

What were the five objects I asked you to remember?

8

I am going to give you a series of numbers and I would like you to give them to me backwards. For example, if I say 42, you would say 24.

8a

87

8b

648

8c

8537

9

This is a clock face. Please put in the hour markers and the time at ten minutes to eleven o’clock.

Clock Circle Shape
9a

Manages to put hour markers okay

9b

Manages to put correct time

10

Show this image to the assessed individual and ask 10a and 10b.

Square, Triangle & Rectangle Shapes
10a

Please place an X in the triangle.

10b

Which of the above figure is largest?

11

I am going to tell you a story. Please listen carefully because afterwards, I’m going to ask you some questions about it.

Jill was a very successful stockbroker. She made a lot of money on the stock market. She then met Jack, a devastatingly handsome man. She married him and had three children. They lived in Chicago. She then stopped work and stayed at home to bring up her children. When they were teenagers, she went back to work. She and Jack lived happily ever after.
11a

What was the female’s name?

11b

What work did she do?

11c

When did she go back to work?

11d

What state did she live in?

12

Patient Level of Education

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About SLUMS Score

The Saint Louis University Mental Status Examination (SLUMS) score is a brief (7 minute) clinician-administered method of screening for Alzheimer’s, other types of dementia or mild neurocognitive impairment.

The score is also known as the Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or the Mild Neurocognitive Disorder (MNCD) and was designed as an alternative screening to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).

The evaluation consists of 11 questions that test:

  • Orientation (1, 2 and 3);
  • Short-term memory (4, 7 and 11);
  • Naming of animals (6);
  • Calculations (5 and 8);
  • Clock-drawing (9);
  • Recognition of geometric figures and sizes (10).

The maximum number of points is 30, with a cut-off for normal cognitive function situated at 27 points (for high school educated subjects) and 25 (for less than high school education).

The SLUMS score interpretation provides different thresholds based on the education level of the patient.

Interpretation High school education Less than high school education
Normal 27 - 30 25 - 30
Mild neurocognitive disorder 21 - 26 20 - 24
Dementia 1 - 20 1 - 19

By comparison to the MMSE, the SLUMS was found to recognize groups of patients with mild cognitive problems that don’t yet rise to the level of dementia diagnosis.

SLUMS was also found to be significantly better at identifying dementia in its early stages (on a cohort of 58 nursing home residents), compared to the MMSE, the Short Test of Mental State (STMS) and the Test Your Memory (TYM) screening.

 

References

Original reference

Tariq SH, Tumosa N, Chibnall JT, Perry MH 3rd, Morley JE. Comparison of the Saint Louis University mental status examination and the mini-mental state examination for detecting dementia and mild neurocognitive disorder--a pilot study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006; 14(11):900-910.

Other references

Cruz-Oliver DM, Malmstrom TK, Roegner M, Tumosa N, Grossberg GT. Cognitive deficit reversal as shown by changes in the Veterans Affairs Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) examination scores 7.5 years later. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014; 15(9).

Cruz-Oliver DM, Malmstrom TK, Allen CM, Tumosa N, Morley JE. The Veterans Affairs Saint Louis University mental status exam (SLUMS exam) and the Mini-mental status exam as predictors of mortality and institutionalization. J Nutr Health Aging. 2012; 16(7):636-641.

Feliciano L, Horning SM, Klebe KJ, Anderson SL, Cornwell RE, Davis HP. Utility of the SLUMS as a cognitive screening tool among a nonveteran sample of older adults. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013; 21(7):623-630.


Specialty: Neurology

System: Nervous

Objective: Screening

No. Of Items: 11

Year Of Study: 2006

Abbreviation: SLUMS

Article By: Denise Nedea

Published On: July 6, 2020

Last Checked: July 6, 2020

Next Review: July 6, 2025