In the News
'Sweet 16' not just for teens; it may help assess dementia. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), widely used to assess cognitive impairment, can be limited by copyright issues, cost, and the implements needed to take parts of the test. To address these issues, researchers developed and tested a short assessment tool—dubbed the Sweet 16—that requires no physical objects and can be administered with minimal training. In an article published online on November 8, 2010, in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Fong and colleagues determined which Sweet 16 scores correlated with MMSE scores and suggested that the new tool could be particularly useful in frail older or ill patients who aren't able to write or use other implements during a cognitive assessment. One caveat is that the Sweet 16 doesn't replace "more sensitive and comprehensive tests of cognitive function" or identify reversible causes of impaired cognition, such as depression.