Let's go through just some standard memory tests. And what I want you to do is try to remember a few things, and I'll ask you again in a couple of minutes. First of all, just three words: Chevrolet, zebra and honesty. What are they? Chevrolet, zebra and honesty. Okay, and now three things around us in the room right now: that TV monitor that's right next to you there, the computer, my stopwatch and this particular book. >>Okay. So what are the three things in the room? TV, the stopwatch, the book. >>Okay, great. Try to remember the words and the things in the room, and I'll ask you again in just a couple of minutes, okay? What day of the week is today? Today is Saturday. Mm-hmm. And what city are we in? >>Boston. Mm-hmm. And what is the date? October 21st, is it? No, I'm sorry. November 21st. Okay. >>[laughs] You wrote it down. I did. I write down everything you say. [laughs] I've got to look at my day here. Nineteen what? >>Actually, I don't keep track of dates anymore. I haven't had to. >>Yeah. Things have changed. >>Yeah. 1998. >>Okay. Okay, now who is our President now? Clinton. >>Mm-hmm. And who was President before him? Reagan--I mean Bush. Sorry. No, that's okay. That's common for all of us. >>Very common. Very common for all of us to do. And then before him was-- >>Reagan. Okay. And then just one before that. Who was that? >>Carter. Yeah. Okay, good. Now tell me some newsworthy events that are going on in the world today. What's going on that you know about? That's a good question because I played golf for two, three days. [laughs] I haven't been watching-- Well, actually, the hearings, the presidential hearings. >>Yeah. That's been going on. For what controversy or case was that about now? Monica Lewinsky case. >>Yeah, okay. They started hearings and debates and-- I guess for the impeachment hearings. That's what it's about. Very good. Now what I want you to do is to spell world backwards. D-L-R-O-W. Okay, very good. Show me how you would use a comb to comb your hair. Okay. And how you would blow out a candle. [blowing sound] Okay, good. Now what I want you to do is to take this page, and I want you to draw the face of a clock. Make the circle big enough and put the numbers in, and then set the hands at ten past eleven. [drawing sounds] What am I doing here? [erasing sound] [LaFontaine] I haven't had to do this for a long time. Ten past eleven, you said? >>Ten past eleven. [drawing sounds continue] [Kelly] Perfect. Now say this after me: No ifs, ands or buts. No ifs, ands or buts. Okay. Now what I want you to do is to tell me those three things we pointed to in the room. The TV, the watch and the book. Okay. And the words before that? Chevrolet, zebra and honesty. Okay, very good. Now take this back, and anywhere on here write any simple sentence, a complete sentence that you make up. It can be very simple. [writing sounds] Okay, very good. That's intended to be a three-dimensional drawing. So do a representation of a cube yourself. [drawing sounds] Okay. Let's say this is a map of the United States, this whole page. Actually, let's use a brand new one, okay? So if you just picture the whole United States fitting on this right now, put a C where California is, an F where Florida is. Okay. Where is your hometown? Just put the initials for that. Okay. Where would Denver be, as an example? Okay. And how about the Gulf of Mexico? Okay. Other mental status issues, that's pretty much all I would do right now in a screening examination. You've got geographical orientation, you've done memory, both for verbal and nonverbal or visual information, we've looked at historical information, we've looked at current events, we've looked at language skills. The only thing we would probe more deeply would be focus, concentration and attention and mathematical skills and those sorts of things. And at least for right now, we won't be doing that on this level of testing. So it's worked out just fine. What you're able to do here, having seen you operate all day long knowing that there aren't any problems, is certainly adequate information for me. [LaFontaine] Okay. >>Things are working just fine.
Posted on BrainLine February 3, 2009.
James Kelly, MA, MD, FAAN, a neurologist, is one of America’s top experts on treating concussions. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health.
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