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What is an example of a mental status exam?

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Some examples of mental status exams are consciousness tests, speech and motor activity tests and affect or mood tests, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Mental status examinations include various tests that assess patients' mental functioning.

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Consciousness tests assess the state of wakefulness of a patient by examining the patient's brainstem and cortical components, states the National Center for Biotechnology Information. A clouded level of consciousness occurs in patients with attention deficits who are able to perceive the stimuli but often misinterpret it as something else. Consciousness tests use different types of stimuli to arouse the patients and examine the degree to which the patients can respond.

Speech and motor activity tests require the patient to listen to spontaneous speech and respond to open-ended questions. These types of tests allow researchers to assess whether patients have speech problems such as hypophonia of Parkinson's Disease reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The examiner also notes patients' overall motor activities. Slow motor activity may signal subcortical dementia or depression.

Affect or mood tests refer to assessments of the patients' immediate expressions of emotion. A patient's affect may be deemed inappropriate when it is expressed in an unrelated situation, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. A patient's mood can be described as either normal, euphoric or dysphoric, depending on the context.

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