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The Clinical Dementia Rating or CDR is a numeric scale used to quantify the severity of symptoms of dementia (i.e. its 'stage').

Using a structured-interview protocol developed by John C. Morris and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine, a qualified health professional assesses a patient's cognitive and functional performance in six areas:

Scores in each of these are combined to obtain a composite score ranging from 0 through 3.[1]

Qualitative equivalences are as follows:[2]

Composite Rating Symptoms
0 none
0.5 very mild
1 mild
2 moderate
3 severe

CDR is credited with being able to discern very mild impairments, but its weaknesses include the amount of time it takes to administer, its ultimate reliance on subjective assessment, and relative inability to capture changes over time.[3]


External links

An overview of rating scales used in dementia research