WESTBOROUGH, MA February 1, 2016 This clock was drawn by a 78-year old man who was referred for outpatient neuropsychological assessment to determine the extent of change in dementia from his initial testing 24 months earlier. You can learn quite a bit from the drawings of people thought to be suffering from dementia. In this case, the patient was friendly and compliant. He put forth a good effort and worked with diligence and earnest. The task is the same for all cases – “draw a clock, put all the numbers on it and set the hands for 11:10.”
This clock effectively demonstrated the decline in the gentleman’s neurocognition. It was poorly organized. There was some neglect of the left hemi-space. He had no self-monitoring or internal executive capacity to guide his construction. He seemed surprised when I pointed out his work. The numbers were not correctly placed. The slash marks were meant as minute marks and not number 11. However, there were repeated numerals and reversals. No hands were placed.
I learned about cognitive testing while an intern at Boston City Hospital – now B.U. Medical Center in the South End. I loved my time there. I wrote a blog about clocks and the utility of the clock drawing about a year ago called “All this from a Clock”. If interested in the clock drawing take a look at the link I posted.