Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

Foundation of America

What Is Memory Screening?

A memory screening is a simple and safe evaluation tool that checks memory and other thinking skills. It can indicate whether an additional check up by a qualified healthcare professional is needed.

  • Various types of qualified healthcare professionals provide memory screenings, including social workers, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, psychologists and physicians.
  • The face-to-face screening takes place in a private setting; only the individual being tested and the screener are present.
  • A screening consists of a series of questions and/or tasks designed to test memory, language skills, thinking ability, and other intellectual functions.
  • Screening tools identified by AFA’s Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Board include the GPCOG (General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition), MINI-COG, MIS (Memory Impairment Screen) and BAS (Brief Alzheimer’s Screening). These four tests meet accepted criteria for use as a screening instrument: effective, easy to administer and validated by research, and AFA is able to offer the test for free for use during this event due to the generous permission of the copyright holders. AFA’s Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Advisory Board welcomes the review of other instruments for possible consideration; please e-mail
  • The person who administers the screening will review the results with the person being screened, and suggest whether the person should follow up with a physician or other clinician for more extensive testing.
  • Results of the memory screenings are confidential. The participant will receive the screening results to bring to a healthcare professional for follow-up and/or inclusion in medical files.

Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.