Global Deterioration Scale is a global
rating scale which is used to summarize whether an individual
has cognitive impairments consistent with dementia
disease). Individuals are rated according to a seven-point
scale, as outlined below; a score of 4 or higher is usually
considered to be indicative of dementia. A score of 3 on the
GDS is considered consistent with mild cognitive impairment
(MCI); people with MCI are at heightened risk to develop dementia
within the next few years.
1 = Patient has no complaints of memory
deficit; clinician can detect no memory deficit evident during
2 = Patient complains of memory deficit
(forgetting names, forgetting where one has placed objects),
but clinician can detect no objective evidence of a memory
deficit during interview.
3 = Patient shows evidence of mild memory
deficit during intensive clinical interview; symptoms include:
- patient may have gotten lost when traveling to a familiar
location, may forget familiar names, may have problems finding
the correct word
- family and/or co-workers are aware of memory lapses
- patient may have lost or misplaced an object of value
- patient may show anxiety and/or deficits in concentration
4 = Patient shows clear-cut evidence
of memory deficit during interview with clinician, including
decreased memory of current and recent events, decreased ability
to travel or handle finances, inability to perform complex
tasks. Patient may also deny there is any problem with his/her
memory even though it is evident to friends and family.
5 = Patient can no longer handle activities
of daily life without some assistance; patient is unable to
recall a major aspect of current life such as own address
or telephone number, and may have trouble choosing proper
clothing to wear (e.g. deciding whether a coat is required).
6 = Patient is largely unaware of all recent
events and experiences; may forget spouse's name, may become
incontinent, may show personality changes.
7 = Patient loses all verbal abilities over
the course of this stage; patient is incontinent and requires
help with feeding and toileting; patient begins to lose basic
motor skills (e.g. ability to walk).
The GDS scale was originally presented by
B. Reisberg, S. Ferris, M. de Leon and T. Crook ("The global
deterioration scale for assessment of primary degenerative
dementia," in American Journal of Psychiatry, vol.
139, pp/. 1136-1139.)
by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain